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Fraser Island fire: Resort guests evacuated as blaze spreads

A Fraser Island resort has been forced to evacuate as flames continue to engulf the tropical oasis.The threatening inferno is another cruel blow to tourism in Queensland as the state’s borders to New South Wales and Victoria were finally flung open to holiday makers.The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) issued an updated warning for…

A Fraser Island resort has been forced to evacuate as flames continue to engulf the tropical oasis.

The threatening inferno is another cruel blow to tourism in Queensland as the state’s borders to New South Wales and Victoria were finally flung open to holiday makers.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) issued an updated warning for the fire, which has scorched nearly half of the world heritage-listed island off the Sunshine State’s coast.

Guests at Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village on K’gari (Fraser Island) were warned of the nearby fire on Tuesday afternoon, which emergency services fear could get worse.

The blaze was travelling south, heading towards the resort, which was forced to close its doors for two weeks as guests were evacuated.

“Any person at the Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village should follow the directions of Queensland Fire and Emergency Service or Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service officers,” the warning declared on Tuesday afternoon.

About one million litres of water and fire retardant has been dumped on the blaze but it continues to rage.

“Fire crews are working to contain the fire but firefighters may not be able to protect every property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door,” QFES warned.

“People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality.”

Superintendent James Haig said emergency crews would focus efforts on protecting Kingfisher Bay Resort.

“The intent there is that we will have air assets available in order to shape that fire and make sure it passes east of the resort,” he said, according to the ABC.

“We have a lot of aircraft available … We are going to be watching that extremely closely.

“Over on the eastern side where we’ve got opportunity, we will try to enhance some of the protections around infrastructure to reduce the amount of fuel.”

The fire comes as the eastern states again swelter during a “pretty remarkable” heatwave.

“While heatwaves are normal for this time of year, what’s making this burst of heat exceptional is temperatures 18-20C above average and many locations breaking records,” Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Dean Narramore said.

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