A fire is burning out of control in the south of the Sunshine Coast, with residents and business owners fleeing the area.
More than 100 firefighters are at Caloundra battling a blaze that has been burning across a couple of hundred hectares since about 1.30 on Friday afternoon, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services told Daily Mail Australia.
As of 9.50pm, firefighters were still ‘working to get the fire under control’, and urged residents in Bells Creek and Bellvista to avoid returning to their homes.
QFES assistant deputy commissioner Mark Roche earlier told The Courier Mail firefighters had struggled to contain the fire because of gale-force winds in the area.
‘The fire is still… we do not have control of this incident,’ he said.
Fire is burning out of control on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, with about 80 firefighters trying to put out the blaze
Flames are seen lapping at the side of the Bruce Highway, with huge plumes of smoke covering the road
The blaze began at about 1.30pm on Friday and as of 8.15 was still out of control, with 30 crews of firefighters working to contain the situation
A spokesman for QFES told Daily Mail Australia firefighters still held fears the wind could pick up again or change direction.
‘We are still very much at the mercy of the weather,’ he said.
As of 8.15pm, the grass fire was still burning around Bellvista and Little Mountain, with 30 crews of firefighters working to contain the blaze.
A statement from QFES said the fire ‘remains uncontrolled and residents who have evacuated… should not return to their property at this stage as multiple fire crews are still working in the area’.
Mr Roche told The Brisbane Times there had been issues involving nosy locals getting in the way of emergency services.
‘There have been a number of rubber-neckers trying to get into the area for a look, please stay away and let emergency services do their job,’ he said.
The raging fire could be seen from far away as it continued to spread due to strong winds
Residents were asked to evacuate the area as the fire continued to grow
Pictures show huge plumes of smoke covering the area, with traffic appearing to be built up, likely with evacuating residents.
One Instagram user shared a photograph of the traffic, referring to the Bruce Highway as a ‘car park’.
‘It’s pretty scary – that fire’s not small and around here, we’re surrounded by bush,’ one local told 7 News.
A second out-of control fire started on Friday evening at Yandina Creek, also on the Sunshine Coast.
About 40 firefighters have been sent to tackle the second out of control blaze, which is currently burning on hilly land and not able to be accessed.
Anyone in the area is urged to evacuate to Lake Kawana Community Centre at 114 Sportsmans Parade, Bokarina.
Residents fleeing the fire took to the Bruce Highway all at once, with one Instagram user referring to the busy road as a ‘carpark’
Heavy smoke further impacted residents trying to leave the area
Locals have been urged to leave their homes and head to Lake Kawana Community Centre at 114 Sportsmans Parade, Bokarina