Police evacuated Tewantin township as bush fires approach yesterday.
Police evacuated Tewantin township as bush fires approach yesterday.

Premier visits Noosa fire victims as mayor confirms vehicles lost

HELICOPTERS are water bombing the Noosa Banks area this morning in an effort to contain spot fire flares ups as Noosa’s fire emergency enters its second tense day of battle.

As well, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is due in Noosa this morning to inspect the Leisure Centre evacuation venue and receive a situation briefing.

Mayor Tony Wellington, who is helping co-ordinate the fire emergency response along his disaster management deputy chair Cr Joe Jurisevic, today confirmed vehicles were destroyed along with sheds and one Cooroibah house.

“There’s spot fires happening particularly around the Noosa Banks area, they’re being hit by aerial helicopters,” Cr Wellington said.

“QFES are modelling the fire at the moment based on their aerial reconnaissance and also the expectations of weather over the next 12 hours or so.

“When that modelling’ s complete they’ll be able to make some decisions about whether or not some areas can return.”

Mayor Wellington described yesterday’s evacuation of Tewantin as “a mammoth undertaking” and praised the response of the Noosa community.

“The other big message is we really want to thank the community for their efforts, including businesses that have supported evacuees with food and bed,” he said.

One of those evacuated was Cr Jurisevic who lives at Noosa Parklands in the line of the fast-moving fire yesterday.

Cr Jurisevic spent the night at the Noosa Christian Outrach Centre evacuation centre with “about 90 other people” after the Noosa Leisure Centre reached its capacity.

The Cooroy Library was also opened up, but the Girraween Sports Centre was eventually not required.

The Noosa Library also was used to house patients from the Carramar nursing home in Tewantin.

“We cheated a little and took our van (to the centre),” Cr Jurisevic said.

“When we checked in it was all fairly nice and civilised with people trying to deal with the situation as best they could under the circumstances.

“They’re just waiting for news as to how things were going. We’ve had a lot of great support from a lot of businesses with food and the like coming through, and the community is rallying behind everyone.

“We’ve just got to ask people to be patient with the road closures and we don’t want to exacerbate the situation more than it already is.

“At this stage it’s still a case of wait, watch and stay on alert.

Cr Jurisevic, this morning left the NCOC at 4am to head back to council’s emergency response centre.

“It seems all the evac centres are doing fairly well, breakfast is being supplied this morning to them this morning and updates will be provided to them.

“There’s water bombing on the way with targeted spots, and once that’s been undertaken and we see what the winds are doing, and how successful we have been.

“We have more ground troops coming in this morning once all that has been put in place and they see how successful they have been at containing it.

“There are some flare ups in areas and there’s some fairly inaccessible country that they’re being challenged by and that’s the area that concerns them the most.

Cr Jurisevic said he hoped the forecast lighter winds will help the firefighting efforts today.

He said if the wind changes this afternoon in the opposite direction as predicted “hopefully the fires will burn back on themselves”.

He said Noosa Parklands and Daintree at this stage still had their roads closed.

“Spot fires in and around that McKinnon Dr area, is what they are concerned about, once they were contained the situation would be re-evaluated.”