Human shield used to defend nursing home


HUNDREDS of volunteers, firefighters and police formed a human shield to fend off fire that was bearing down on a Sunshine Coast nursing home last night.

Authorities this morning said the fire, which continues to burn near Tewantin, Noosa's North Shore and Cooroibah, on the Sunshine Coast was coming too fast to safely move the elderly and infirm inside.

Instead, they formed a chain to stay and fight the flames.

The nursing home residents escaped unscathed.

The fire is one of 36 burning across Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palasczcuk said, in what has shaped as a season from hell for firefighters and communities caught up in the blazes burning from the Sunshine Coast out to Laidley and the Queensland border.

Further south, hundreds of homes have been lost in New South Wales and at least two people are feared dead.

Firefighters on the Sunshine Coast are hoping the wind drops through the day but have warned residents to prepare for the worst.

Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington said it was incredible the community has so far escaped with only one home damaged, two other buildings lost and a firefighter with a broken leg.

"In terms of safety, I'm very pleased to say there have been no deaths and no really significant injuries as a result of this event," Cr Wellington said.

"Considering the ferocity yesterday and the variable winds, that's a pretty incredible outcome.

"When eventually the areas are opened up, and people can see how close these fires came to property they will be aware of what an incredible job the firefighting team did and what a fantastic job the police is still doing to keep the community safe."