Family’s agony as return home cut short
OUT-of-control fires forced the Law family to leave Peregian acreage on Monday, and they still don't know what's left of their "slice of paradise".
Mum Janelle, dad Martin and sons Josh and Will don't know what they will find of their orchard, ducks and chickens, when they are finally allowed to return.
They spent Monday night away from home as a precaution and had only been back a few short hours when told to evacuate yesterday.
"The police came and said we couldn't stay about 11am," Ms Law said.
"We've got no idea what's going on. We're in nature's hands right now."
Ms Law said they were staying with elderly parents at a Peregian Springs retirement village, ready to help move them if the fire turns that way.
By 10am yesterday, a heroic effort by firefighters through the night had seen off the worst of the "ember storm" that had torn across bushland and blasted through the beachside community, driven hard by a dry, gusty south-westerly and lit, it is feared, by children playing with flames.
From atop Low's Lookout, there was still smoke in the air and locals gathered there could see isolated spot fires dotted through the scrub.
One house had been destroyed, others were damaged but there was hope the worst was over.
In three short hours, the flames would rage again.
This time, it was from a shift in the wind. By 1.30pm, the wind gusts were hitting 40km/h. By 6pm, they would be 46km/h.
The fire truck sirens that had fallen silent that morning began wailing as crews rushed to stop the flames.
Water bombing helicopters flew dozens of sorties an hour, sucking up three-tonne loads from the Peregian Springs golf course water hazards before dumping them down on hot spots and born-again blazes.
At 10.30am, the coast was promised a visit from the enormous red-painted Boeing 737 firebombing and its payload of flame-stopping gel.
Just before 3pm, the jet arrived.
With the wind still blowing last night, fire bosses said there were no guarantees it would halt the flames soon.
Assistant Fire Commissioner Gary McCormack said crews could be there for days battling the blaze.
"We will not leave that fire until we are 100 per cent confident that we have that contained under those wind conditions.