Firefighters battle to save Qld homes
People with homes in the path of a fast-moving bushfire north of Toowoomba face an anxious night while fire crews fight to save their homes.
There are more than 60 blazes still burning across Queensland amid high temperatures and hot, dry westerly winds that will continue this weekend.
People were told to evacuate from the path of the blaze at Pechey forest on Friday as it raced towards Ravensbourne on the Darling Downs.
The Pechey fire has been burning for several days and flared as conditions worsened.
It is likely to affect Purtill Road, Garvey Road, Ravensbourne Tip Road, Mount Jockey Road and McQuillan Road on Friday evening.
The weather bureau says there is no end in sight for Queensland's bushfire crisis with dangerous conditions to continue into next week.
The Darling Downs will bear the brunt of dry, hot winds with extreme fire danger forecast for Sunday making conditions challenging for firefighters.
Leave now warnings remain in place on Friday for residents of Woodgate and nearby Kinkuna Waters, south of Bundaberg.
A worrying fire at Thornside, west of Gympie, and an unpredictable fire at Tarome are at 'watch and act'.
The Cobraball fire near Yeppoon in central Queensland continues to concern authorities given the difficult weather conditions expected in coming days.
The blaze, which destroyed 15 of the 16 homes lost in Queensland over the past week, is 90 per cent contained but that could change when high winds arrive.
Damage assessments are continuing, with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services saying the number of homes lost could rise.
But QFES assistant commissioner Tony Johnstone says crews have done a remarkable job protecting property.
"It's really hard to say how many houses we've saved but I'd say in excess of 300 or 400," he told ABC radio.
Temperatures near major fire grounds are expected to soar beyond 30C on Friday and into the weekend.
Former QFES commissioner Lee Johnson is among 23 fire and emergency services leaders demanding urgent federal action to phase out fossil fuels that are driving climate change and elevating Australia's bushfire risks.
He says cyclones and floods - not fires - have always been Queensland's primary threats, but that's changing.
"In my 40 years' experience I don't recall ever losing this amount of property at the start of a fire season, and it's not over yet. Something has changed and it's not good," he told ABC radio on Friday.
© AAP 2019