Crews are battling a blaze near Whitsunday Paradise estate.
Crews are battling a blaze near Whitsunday Paradise estate.

Bowen bushfire downgraded with highway down to one lane

UPDATE, 4PM: A bushfire burning near Whitsunday Paradise estate has been downgraded to an advice level with the Bruce Highway reduced to one lane because of smoke in the area.

Earlier on Monday afternoon, residents were being urged to prepare to leave as the fire intensified.

Residents of surrounding areas are now being told to keep up to date on the blaze and be ready to enact their bushfire survival plan.

The bushfire is still burning east of the Bruce Highway and north of Adelaide Point Road.

The fire is travelling in a northerly direction towards Fairway Drive and Ocean View Drive in the Whitsunday Paradise estate.

Multiple crews are working to contain the blaze and now properties are currently under direct threat.

UPDATE, 2.40PM: BOWEN residents have been told to prepare to leave and the Bruce Highway has been closed as a bushfire continues to burn near the Whitsunday Paradise estate.

The fire was upgraded to a watch and act level just after noon, with residents urged to be ready to follow their bushfire survival plan.

If residents do not have a plan or intend to leave, they should be ready to leave the area as Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have advised the situation could get worse quickly.

At 12.15pm, the fire was travelling in a northerly direction towards Fairway Dve and Ocean View Dve. 

Fire crews commenced back burning along Ocean View Dve to contain the fire but have warned that they may not be able to protect every property.

Residents have been warned they should not expect a firefighter at their door.

A Queensland Police spokesman said the Bruce Highway was closed between Whitsunday Paradise estate and Adelaide Point Rd just before 1pm.

Traffic control has now been handed over to the Whitsunday Regional Council.

UPDATE, 12.15PM: Bowen residents are being urged to be ready to enact their bushfire survival plan as a bushfire near Whitsunday Paradise has been upgraded.

The bushfire is burning to the east of the Bruce Highway and north of Adelaide Point Rd.

It is travelling in a northerly direction towards Fairway Drive and Ocean View Drive near the Whitsunday Paradise estate, formerly known as Whitsunday Shores.

Multiple QFES crews are working to contain the blaze and no properties are under direct threat.

The blaze started yesterday with a Heli-attack helicopter and 11 crews fighting tasked to contain the spread.

On Monday morning, a Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said crews have now contained the bushfire and would continue to monitor the area throughout the day.

However, residents are now being urged to keep up to date and decide what actions they will take if the situation changes

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

  • Listen to your local radio station or visit the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website for regular updates.
  • If you have a bushfire survival plan, refer to it now and be ready to follow it.
  • If you do not have a bushfire survival plan, or if your plan is to leave, identify where you will go if the situation changes.
  • Close windows and doors to minimise smoke exposure.
  • If you suffer from a respiratory condition, keep your medication close by.
  • Drive with caution in low visibility conditions.
  • Contact your neighbours to see if they need help preparing for the bushfire.
  • Consider finding your essential items (e.g., identification documents, prescription medication, food and water, and protective clothing such as a long-sleeved cotton shirt and trousers, and boots) in case you need to leave.
  • Consider what you will do to protect your pets and livestock.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Advise family and friends of your intended actions if the situation changes.

UPDATE, 9AM MONDAY: FIREFIGHTERS have contained a large bushfire that was edging towards Whitsunday Paradise estate.  

A Heli-attack helicopter was called in to bolster the efforts of 11 crews fighting the blaze near Whitsunday Paradise estate, formerly known as Whitsunday Shores, on Sunday.

Crews from Homehill and Airlie Beach were also called in as the fire moved in a northeasterly direction from the intersection of Adelaide Point Rd and the Bruce Highway.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said crews have now contained the bushfire and would continue to monitor the area throughout the day.

The fire is posing no threat to property, however residents of Whitsunday Paradise may be affected by smoke.

Residents have been advised to close their windows and doors and if suffering from a respiratory condition, to keep medications close by.

Motorists are also being urged to drive with caution and to conditions.

UPDATE, 4.20PM SUNDAY: A Heli-attack helicopter has been called in to help the 11 firefighting crews on the ground trying to contain a large bushfire in Bowen.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Service spokeswoman said crews including from Homehill and Airlie Beach were currently backburning to stop the blaze moving closer towards the Whitsunday Shores Estate.

The fire had been moving in a northeasterly direction from the intersection of Adelaide Point Rd and the Bruce Highway.

The QFES spokeswoman said a helicopter arrived on scene at 4pm to visually inspect the area and would possibly conduct water bombing operations.

A senior officer is also on the way to the fire.

Residents are being advised to stay informed and prepare to enact their Bushfire Survival Plan.  The QFES has advised people who believe their property may be under threat to immediately phone triple-0.  

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

• Listen to your local radio station or visit the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website for regular updates.

• If you have a bushfire survival plan, refer to it now and be ready to follow it.

• If you do not have a bushfire survival plan, or if your plan is to leave, identify where you will go if the situation changes.

• Close windows and doors to minimise smoke exposure.

• If you suffer from a respiratory condition, keep your medication close by.

• Drive with caution in low visibility conditions.

• Contact your neighbours to see if they need help preparing for the bushfire.

• Consider finding your essential items (e.g., identification documents, prescription medication, food and water, and protective clothing such as a long-sleeved cotton shirt and trousers, and boots) in case you need to leave.

• Consider what you will do to protect your pets and livestock.

• Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

• Advise family and friends of your intended actions if the situation changes.

EARLIER, 2.15PM: RESIDENTS are being advised to stay informed and prepare to enact their Bushfire Survival Plan as a large grass fire intensifies south of Bowen.

A warning issued from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services states the bushfire is moving in a northerly direction from the intersection of Adelaide Point Road and the Bruce Highway towards Fairway Drive in the Whitsundays Shores Estate.

Seven crews remain on scene and another three are on their way.

The QFES warning said no properties were under threat as firefighters worked to contain the blaze.

Smoke will reduce visibility and air quality and affect people in the nearby area.

The QFES has advised people who believe their property may be under threat to immediately phone triple-0. 

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

• Listen to your local radio station or visit the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website for regular updates.

• If you have a bushfire survival plan, refer to it now and be ready to follow it.

• If you do not have a bushfire survival plan, or if your plan is to leave, identify where you will go if the situation changes.

• Close windows and doors to minimise smoke exposure.

• If you suffer from a respiratory condition, keep your medication close by.

• Drive with caution in low visibility conditions.

• Contact your neighbours to see if they need help preparing for the bushfire.

• Consider finding your essential items (e.g., identification documents, prescription medication, food and water, and protective clothing such as a long-sleeved cotton shirt and trousers, and boots) in case you need to leave.

• Consider what you will do to protect your pets and livestock.

• Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

• Advise family and friends of your intended actions if the situation changes.

EARLIER, 1.30PM: SEVEN firefighting crews are currently at the scene of a large grass fire in the Whitsundays.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Service spokesman said crews were called to the blaze at the intersection of Adelaide Point Rd and the Bruce Highway at Bowen about 12.10pm.

The spokesman said both urban and rural units are now on scene.

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A warning statement issued by QFES said the fire was not currently posing a threat to property.

"Firefighters are working to contain the blaze and are conducting backburning operations in the area," the warning said.

"Residents of Whitsunday Shores Estate and surrounding areas may be affected by smoke. "Residents are asked to close windows and doors and if suffering from a respiratory condition, keep medications close by.

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"Motorists should drive with caution and to conditions."

The QFES advised residents who are concerned about their property being under threat to phone triple-0 immediately.


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