FOREST FIRE: Fraser Coast town circled by wall of flames
"SEEK shelter - it's too late to leave."
That was the warning hundreds of residents of the seaside village of Tinnanbar received as a wall of flames cut off the only escape route.
By 2pm yesterday, what had been a distant plume of smoke in Tuan Forest had grown into a raging inferno that had consumed more than 80 hectares of protected forest area.
Firefighters were forced to commence backburning and start their defence plans about 3pm yesterday when the situation escalated due to unpredictable winds and warm temperatures.
The situation was exacerbated due to the power being cut, rendering the town without electricity and some without working water for several hours.
But by 5.15pm yesterday Maryborough Fire Station area training and support officer Shaune Toohey said fire activity had died down and officers would be working on a full containment of the area in the coming days.
By 6.30pm QFES said it was safe for residents to enter the area, but said residents should still be ready to follow their bushfire survival plan.
At least 15 crews from the Rural and Urban Fire Services and a water bomber were required to fight the blaze.
Mr Toohey said officers moved into the town about 2.30pm urging people to evacuate or start their bushfire plans.
"Officers were monitoring the threat through the afternoon due to the potential of wind swings," he said.
With high fire danger weather predicted for the weekend, Mr Toohey said officers monitored the site for the night. Firefighters will continue to monitor the situation today.
"One of the critical parts we looked at early on was the Tinnanbar community, it's only got one access road in and out," he said.
"Thankfully, the community had their bushfire survival plans ready to go which made our job in terms of communicating with them easier as they had decisions made before the fire impacted."
Emergency text alerts were also sent by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services urging them to prepare their bushfire evacuation plans.
It came as a shock to residents Jenny Atkins and Peter Stahtoures, who only found out about the fire during the door-knocking around 2pm.
Ms Atkins said the lack of power in town meant they couldn't get updates from the television or social media to find out what was happening.
Residents were urged to seek shelter and move to the Tinnanbar Boat Ramp as the fire approached town.
David and Kay Goldsmith said they only found out about the fire after 2pm.
Like others in town they were also worried about the lack of electricity, which had left them with no water since 8am.
"Without any power we couldn't even use the hose to fight the fire if it came close," Mr Goldsmith said.