Australian Fraser Island devastated by forest fires


A heatwave warning is in place for the island as the fire may worsen.

About two-thirds of Queensland, including K'gari, is now gripped by drought. Australia's Bureau of Meteorology forecast intense heat wave conditions in the inland areas of Queensland state on Wednesday with temperatures expected to be well above 40 degree Celsius (104 degree Fahrenheit) but sea breezes will keep the weather cooler close to the coast.

The task was made harder because crews were unable to use saltwater to fight the fire in areas with freshwater lakes. "You should not expect a firefighter to your door", the directive said.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service said the fire was burning on two fronts across 74,000 hectares (183,000 acres), or 42 percent of the island, but was not threatening properties.

Not only do the high temperatures make it hard for the firefighters to fight the flames, there are also hard-to-reach fires in the north of the island.

Planes dropped about 250,000 litres of water on Saturday alone, but Haig said these efforts "will not stop the fire" but merely slow its progress.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services are warning conditions could get worse with the fire now travelling south from Boon Boon Creek towards the resort.

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"A run of hot and dry conditions is exacerbating the bushfire risk to Queensland, and this is likely to continue until the state receives sufficient rain", QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said. It's the world's largest sand land and has the only tall rainforest that arises on the sand.

It is also called K'gari, which translates as "paradise" in the local Buchulla tribe's language.

Mr Haig said firefighters were trying to balance their management of the blaze - which is believed to have been sparked by an illegal campfire - with the need to avoid inflicting any further environmental damage. This is also the case in New South Wales, the state with the capital Sydney.

It took over management of the fire from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science national park ranger service on Friday.

The latest government mapping data shows new spot fires were lit nearly directly south of the resort between 10pm on Tuesday and midnight.

Australia is still recovering from the devastating 2019-2020 wildfires that burned an area about the UK's size, killing 33 people and leaving tens of thousands of their homes.

The country is one of the world's leading fossil fuel exporters and the conservative government has dragged its heels on tackling carbon emissions, despite recent polling showing Australians are increasingly concerned about climate change.