Sunshine Coast blaze still out of control

 

Hundreds of people are holed up in evacuation centres on Queensland's Sunshine Coast as crews wait to see how many homes have been lost to a ferocious fire.

There are fears of significant property losses with a destructive blaze still burning out of control at Peregian Beach and Peregian Breeze Estate, south of Noosa.

An emergency warning remains in place there after residents were ordered to get out on Monday as the fast-moving fire closed in.

At least two homes have been lost in the Peregian Beach area.

"We can confirm there are two homes that have been destroyed by fire and one shed," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing has told the Nine Network.

"We will be doing more assessments this morning and do understand there will be certainly some impact on some other homes given the conditions were absolutely horrendous."

The fire is burning on the boundary of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and the Noosa Shire Council, with about 400 people fleeing to evacuation centres in both areas.

A warning to leave immediately remains in place for Peregian Beach and Peregian Breeze Estate.

Prepare to leave warnings are in place for residents north of the firefront at Weyba, Weyba Downs, Peregian Springs, Castaways Beach and Marcus Beach.

Acting Sunshine Coast mayor Tim Dwyer was near the fire front until late on Monday and said the ferocity of the blaze was startling.

"It's really just hard for me to explain it. But just the glow of the flames in the sky last night, the smell of the fire, the look of angst on the faces of the people," he told ABC radio.

He later spent time with evacuees holed up at the Coolum Surf Club, which is serving as a refuge centre.

"The frustration, the angst, the uncertainty. You could just see it written all over their faces. These are really trying times."

Sunshine Coast Council disaster management coordinator Cathy Buck says the danger is far from over, with strong winds that fuelled the fire to continue on Tuesday.

"It's still very dangerous on the ground. They are doing everything they can to save as much as they can," she told the ABC.

At the peak of the Peregian fire more than 100 crews were on the ground battling to protect homes, as the fire spotted well ahead of its front.

Dramatic footage has been shared online of sustained ember attacks from the fire, with the night sky glowing orange with burning ash.

There are 70 fires still burning across Queensland, with 12 schools closed on Tuesday in the state's south.

More than 1000 Sunshine Coast properties are without power, after authorities made the decision to cut supplies.

Photographer Lachie Millard, of Peregian Beach, evacuated his toddler and dog to Noosa before returning for precious possessions.

"It was just black smoke coming straight for our house and for our street," he told The Courier-Mail.

The Bureau of Meteorology says winds will remain high on Tuesday, but there will be a slight improvement in conditions.