The bushfire crisis in Queensland continues to threatened homes despite conditions being downgraded from catastrophic to severe.
However, authorities are warning the state is not out of the woods with heatwave conditions gripping the central and north coast until at least Tuesday.
Thousands of Queenslanders were forced from their homes as firefighters battled up to 140 wildfires. On Thursday morning, 8000 of those residents were told they could finally return to their properties.
Schools were evacuated with many in the danger zone expected to remain closed on Thursday.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland still faced unprecedented conditions and “unchartered waters we have not seen the likes of before”.
A fire at Gracemere, near Rockhampton, and a monster fire near Mackay remain “grave concerns” for firefighters.
Temperatures in central Queensland are again expected to soar but winds are expected to ease.
Interstate crews arrived on Tuesday to help fight an inferno in central Queensland that’s destroyed homes and burnt through at least 20,000 hectares of bush and farmland since Saturday.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll said conditions were still dire.
“Do not be complacent, we are not through this yet,” she said.
Campwin Beach residents told to leave now
Residents in Campwin Beach have been urged to flee as a fast-moving bushfire approaches.
The fire is travelling in a northerly direction towards Campwin Beach, the QFES says, and is threatening homes and lives.
Residents have been told to leave immediately before it became too dangerous to drive.
The QFES warned conditions were now very dangerous and firefighters may soon be unable to prevent the fire advancing.
A grass fire at nearby Sarina Beach has also prompted an evacuation advice for residents in the area.
Worst hit areas
More than 8000 people were ordered to leave Gracemere, just south of Rockhampton, around 3pm on Wednesday as a “catastrophic, fast moving fire” closed in on the area.
Around 1500 residents of Deepwater, Baffle Creek, Rules Beach and Oyster Creek, Eungella and Dalrymple Heights also ordered to evacuate before fires cut roads. Houses could be lost as the intense fire travels south.
A blaze at Ambrose, west of Gladstone, barrelled towards Mount Larcom forcing an unknown number of residents to leave.
Authorities have warned those who stay are risking death.