Early on Thursday, residents of two more communities – Campwin Beach and Sarina Beach south of Mackay – were woken by police and emergency text messages telling them they were in danger and to move to safety immediately.
QFES Assistant Commissioner Gary McCormack warned anyone who had not yet left to evacuate immediately. ‘Leaving their home is the safest option, for them and their families. They need to take advice as given,‘ he told the Nine Network on Thursday.
Roughly 8,000 people were ordered out of Gracemere, near Rockhampton, on Wednesday, with hundreds of them spending the night in an evacuation centre at the Rockhampton showgrounds. ‘‘
The communities of Deepwater, Baffle Creek, Rules Beach and Oyster Creek, halfway between Gladstone and Bundaberg, remained under evacuation orders. Firefighters were brought in from interstate to deal with the crisis, which was far from over, with hot conditions expected to continue for days.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll said ‘Do not be complacent, we are not through this yet,’ she said.