About 200 children at a Sydney primary school were evacuated after a grass fire edged periously close to the school.
Staff at Orchard Hills Public School were told to evacuate their students about 2pm on Wednesday.
“On advice from emergency services, the school contacted parents and carers to pick up their children soon after the fire started,” an Education Department spokesperson said.
“Some remaining students and all staff were later evacuated to Kingswood High School. All are safe and accounted for. There has been no damage to the school.”
The fast-moving blaze was contained in less than two hours, and in the latest alert from authorities the warning was downgraded to an advice level.
“The fire has been downgraded as firefighters and aircraft have gained the upper hand,” NSW Rural Fire Service said.
About 125 volunteers and professional firefighters, 30 trucks and a waterbombing helicopter were involved in battling the blaze.
The school is expected to be fully operational on Thursday.
Meanwhile, four emergency warnings remain in place for parts of Queensland.
Residents in Dalveen, The Glen, Silver Valley, Silverwood, Cherry Gully and Watsonville have been told to leave their homes immediately.
People in properties between the New England Highway, Warwick Killarney Rd and Cullendore Rd are being warned to leave immediately and head to the closest evacuation centres.
LEAVE IMMEDIATELY - Dalveen, The Glen, Silverwood, Cherry Gully (near Warwick) - Multiple Warnings - fire as at 2:42pm Wednesday, 1 November 2023.
For all current warnings, updates and mapping go to https://t.co/vqyJTUPBhe. pic.twitter.com/YR5vjGJQmk
— Qld Fire & Emergency (@QldFES) November 1, 2023
However, those residents who were forced to evacuate their homes in Tara, Montrose North, Wieambilla, The Gums and Kogan on the Western Downs have been told they can return home.
QFES issued the advice for properties between Drildool Rd, Crystal Creek Rd, Tara Kogan Rd, Upper Humbug Rd and Wieambilla Rd, including Chinchilla Tara Rd at 1.45pm on Wednesday.
“Fires at Tara are now burning in containment lines and will continue to burn for several days,” QFES warned.
“Firefighters are on site.
“If you left the area, you can return with caution.”
It comes as a the Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning on Wednesday for the Dalby and Maryborough areas.
A severe thunderstorm warning was also issued at 1.15pm for parts of Wide Bay and Burnett, Darling Downs and Granite Belt and Southeast Coast Forecast Districts.
The Bureau forecasts large hailstones and damaging winds in these areas.
Severe thunderstorms are also currently developing inland of the Sunshine Coast, at about 2.20pm on Wednesday.
Further north, people in The Cape York locality of Watsonville near Herberton have also been told to leave their properties immediately.
QFES issued the warning at 11.34am on Wednesday, for properties between Herberton Petford Rd, Sandridge Rd, Walsh River Rd and Bischoff Rd, including Shiffron Rd and Eichblatt Rd.
It comes as residents in the The Glen area, near Warwick, have also been told to leave immediately.
Properties between Granite Hills Rd, Rockland Rd, New England Highway and Crystal Mountain Rd are being warned to leave immediately.
NCA NewsWire understands a fire has jumped the Crystal Mountain Rd, forcing crews to redirect its firefighting efforts.
The sky is reportedly “black and red” in the region, as immense smoke fills the air.
“Some area are burnt like crazy, just black everywhere,” a source told NCA NewsWire.
“I would not know where the fire is, the sky is black and red.
“There were fire engines and cops screaming around past me … they were screaming to get out.
“You can you hear trees crackling.”
Meanwhile, Gold Coast detectives are investigating the cause of five vegetation fires at various locations in Bonogin on October 31, which are being treated as suspicious.
Emergency crews were called to the fires in grassland near Waltham Court, Bonogin Rd and Brighton Lane between 2.45pm and 4.10pm.
Initial investigations indicate the fires were deliberately lit.
Investigations are ongoing.
Anyone who was in the area at the time of the fires or who has dashcam, is urged to contact police.
Since October 21, fire crews have fought 900 vegetation fires across the state.
There‘s been 58 structures damaged on Western Downs while 387 homes have been saved.
More than 80 Victorian firefighters have started to arrive to relieve Queensland firefighters who have battling intense bushfires for days on end.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said their efforts have been enormous as crews worked to save as many homes as they could.
“Although the loss of property in these fires is significant, 387 homes have been saved,“ she said.
“This is a tribute to our firefighters and the communities who continue to follow their directions.
“There is no doubt these combined efforts have saved lives.
“For those who have lost everything, the arms of Queenslanders are wrapping around them.
“More than 670 people have received emergency assistance payments so far with more on the way.
“This emergency is far from over. “I thank crews arriving from interstate and overseas. “We will continue to keep the community informed as our recovery continues.”
Meanwhile, Queensland Fire and Rescue also issued a warning for Kinkuna and Goodwood residents not to return to their properties at 9.09am on Wednesday as a fire continues to burn.
Residents in properties between Kinkuna Siding Rd, Burrum Coast National Park and Stockyard Creek, including Sims Rd, are urged to remain vigilant.
“The fire near Gorza Rd is still burning. It is travelling towards Smiths Rd. If you left the area, it is not safe to return,” the QFES warning stated.
“Firefighters are working to contain the fire.”
The intense bushfires continue after a night of extreme levels of caution across the region, where people were told to evacuate to safety.
Southern Downs Council Mayor Vic Pennisi told the ABC four homes had been lost in Wallangarra after the town was on high alert overnight due to the ongoing bushfire threat.
“The danger now has passed and about 50 people left are in the community hall overnight,” Mr Pennisi said.
“There’s been some property damage there, the fires went through very, very quickly.
“This is an example of how communities really pull together and keep us safe.
“We didn’t lose any people and that’s our primary concern to make sure our people are as safe as possible.
“The fire at Dalveen is roaring towards Morgan Park which is the outskirts of Warwick.
“We’ve had advice that there’s been properties lost at Dalveen.”
Meanwhile, four firefighters were hospitalised after an RFS truck rolled in northern NSW.
The fire truck rolled about 4am on the New England Highway at Jennings on the Queensland border, NSW Ambulance told 9 News.
Three of the firefighters inside the truck suffered minor injuries, while the fourth sustained leg injuries.
Residents of Maryland Cullendore Rad (Dalveen) and Rosenthal Heights and Morgan Park (Warwick) were instructed to prepare to leave about 6.45am.
Earlier, as of 6.30am, residents at Dalveen, The Glen, Silverwood and Cherry Gully near Warwick were advised to “leave immediately”, with the fire impacting properties between the New England Highway, Warwick Killarney Rd and Cullendore Rd.
“A large, potentially deadly fire is burning in multiple locations,” Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) said.
“It is expected to impact Morgan Park very soon.
“Leave immediately. Your life could be at risk. It will soon be too dangerous to drive.”
As of 7.30am on Wednesday, sections of the New England Highway and Bruxner Highway remain closed near Tenterfield.
The New England Highway is closed in both directions between Bruxner Way and Old Ballandean Rd at Tenterfield and the Queensland border.
The highway is also closed in both directions between Clifton St at Tenterfield and Torrington Rd at Deepwater.
The Bruxner Highway is closed in both directions between Bellevue Rd at Tenterfield and Tabulam Rd at Tabulam.
“Motorists are advised to avoid these areas,” Transport for NSW said in a statement.
“Motorists already in the area are advised to follow directions of emergency services and exercise extreme caution.
“In addition to state-managed roads, some local roads managed by councils are also affected.”
QFES said on Tuesday it had received reports of some residents attempting to backburn around their properties.
“A fire ban is in place for the majority of the state and we cannot risk anyone putting more fire into the landscape,” QFES said in a statement.
“People who start fires risk creating an emergency situation and may put themselves, their property and others in danger.
“If you believe your property is at threat from a fire in the area, call triple-0.”
High fire danger ratings remain in place for more than half of Queensland on Wednesday as well as in NSW’s Northern Slopes, Upper Central West Plains and North Western regions.
More than 80 fires burned across Queensland on Tuesday, with more than 1000 firefighters tackling the blazes.