Residents home but danger far from over as conditions worsen
HARD-EARNED praise is flowing for firefighters and all who supported their massive efforts at the weekend but the Sunshine Coast is far from out of the easily ignitable woods.
All 6000 residents who had been evacuated from 4900 homes in the Cooroibah, Noosa Banks, Noosa North Shore and Tewantin areas on Friday were allowed to return to their properties by dusk yesterday.
That outcome came at a cost, with one firefighter suffering a badly broken femur during Friday's efforts at Cooroibah, another suffering a broken ankle on Saturday and numerous cases of heat stress and exhaustion.
A rural fire truck was also knocked out of action on Friday when a branch fell on it, smashing its roof and windscreen.
Waterbombing planes and helicopters shared their time between the Noosa area and a large fire burning in largely inaccessible country at Booroobin, near Peachester.
Deputy PM Michael McCormack, Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington were among those who visited displaced residents in evacuation centres at the weekend.
They heaped praise on those who had given so much to keep the region safe.
North Coast fire boss Chief Superintendent Michelle Young said worse conditions were yet to come.
"With the dry conditions we've got low humidity and we've got low soil moisture with the strong winds and we are going to see that weather for the next few days," Ms Young said.
‼️Sunshine Coast residents are being urged to remain vigilant as they return home after a tough couple of days.— Qld Fire & Emergency (@QldFES) November 10, 2019
Fallen trees, powerlines and debris can pose significant safety risks.
Keep up the great work everyone! 💪 pic.twitter.com/8X3VEYY3lo
She said spotfires lit by flying embers were the main concern.
"We don't know where they are going to land."
She said the weather conditions weren't getting any better.
"The predictions are that we are going to see a spike in temperature and wind on Tuesday."
A total fire ban remains in place for the Sunshine Coast and Noosa regions.