Fears properties lost in fierce Downs fire
THERE are fears properties have been lost to a fast-moving bushfire on Queensland's Darling Downs.
The large fire, near Millmerran west of Toowoomba, sparked evacuations yesterday.
It's continuing to burn near Cypress Gardens and Forest Ridge. Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner John Bolger says there are unconfirmed reports that two structures have been lost but it's not known if they are sheds or houses.
"We're not sure of the number of properties that we've lost," he has told the ABC.
"But we'll have aircraft up and ground crews as soon as it's safe to get in there and assess any damage."
Cypress Gardens local Douglas Grist, who said he believed homes may have been lost to the blaze, fled to the community centre with his dog, Shadow.
" … I was really worried about my property," Douglas Grist told The Courier-Mail yesterday.
"My house was probably about one kilometre away from the fire (but) I went to check at about 6.30pm and the winds must have changed because it was safe."
The fire danger remains severe today, with Queensland's southeast experiencing very hot conditions this week.
A watch-and-act warning remains in place for residents of Cypress Gardens and Forest Ridge. People who don't have a bushfire plan have been advised to leave.
Those who left on Wednesday have been told it's not safe to return, with an evacuation centre is open at the Millmerran Showgrounds.
Part of the Gore Highway remains closed between Cypress Gardens and the BP at Captains Mountain.
A second fire significant fire is burning at Carneys Creek near the Queensland and New South Wales Border, with people there being told to get ready to leave.
Crews are fighting the fire on the ground and from the air.