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Australia Zoo under threat from bushfire as blaze rips through the Sunshine Coast


Evacuation warnings have been issued as bushfires tear through land near Australia Zoo’s boundary on Queensland‘s Sunshine Coast.

Firefighting aircraft are working to extinguish a fire at Landsborough, a few kilometres away from the iconic 283ha zoo operated by the family of the late Steve Irwin.

The ‘large fast moving fire’ remains at the watch and act level and is travelling towards Hardwood Road.

Residents between Steve Irwin Way, Graham Drive, Fraser Road and Hardwood Road have been warned that ‘conditions could get worse quickly’ and they should be prepared to leave.

‘Firefighters are working to control the fire. You should not expect a firefighter at your door,’ the QFES said on its website. 

Evacuation warnings have been issued as bushfires (pictured) tear through land near Australia Zoo's boundary on Queensland's Sunshine Coast

Evacuation warnings have been issued as bushfires (pictured) tear through land near Australia Zoo’s boundary on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast

Firefighters extinguish spot fires at Landsborough. Evacuation warnings have been issued as flames near the boundary of Australia Zoo

Firefighters extinguish spot fires at Landsborough. Evacuation warnings have been issued as flames near the boundary of Australia Zoo

The warning came less than 24 hours after locals were first evacuated from their homes about 8pm on Saturday.

This was revoked by 10.30pm – allowing residents to return home that evening – after the fast-moving fire had threatened Beerwah and Landsborough townships.

Major roads or highways may still be affected by the fire; however, currently there are no properties at risk.

At least 100 bushfires have burned through more than 11,000 hectares in Queensland over the past week, with two people dying and 35 homes lost so far. 

Hundreds of people have also been evacuated from parts of south-east Queensland. 

Bushfires have also already claimed two lives in New South Wales in recent weeks. 

Total fire bans are in place across large parts of the state before the heatwave weather set to hit on Monday, with extreme fire danger conditions expected.

Temperatures of 33 degrees are forecast in Sydney and 36 degrees in the west of the city, which ranges from six to eight degrees above the seasonal average.

‘Fresh to strong north-westerly winds and warm and dry conditions will lead to elevated fire dangers,’ the Bureau of Meteorology said.

Regional areas of NSW are also going to be hot on Monday, with Lismore expected to reach 28 degrees, Grafton 31, Taree 30 and Maitland in the Hunter 34 degrees.

On the NSW south coast, Batemans Bay will reach an expected 34 degrees while Katoomba in the NSW Blue Mountains will get to 28 degrees.

In late August, Australians were warned that bushfires could ignite across the country much sooner than summer, which has subsequently proved to be true.

Firefighting aircraft are working to extinguish a fire at Landsborough, a few kilometres away from the iconic 283ha zoo (pictured) operated by the family of the late Steve Irwin

Firefighting aircraft are working to extinguish a fire at Landsborough, a few kilometres away from the iconic 283ha zoo (pictured) operated by the family of the late Steve Irwin

A 'large fast moving fire' remains at the watch and act level close to the boundary of Australia Zoo

A ‘large fast moving fire’ remains at the watch and act level close to the boundary of Australia Zoo

The Bureau of Meteorology along with state and national emergency services agencies, fire services and climate authorities combined to issue the high-level warning to ‘prepare now’.

Towns on Australia’s east coast are now regarded as most at risk of being uninsurable by 2030 because of bushfires – with a particularly hot spring and summer expected. 

Home insurance premiums have already typically risen by 30 per cent during the past year, even before the start of the bushfire season.

Since the 2019–20 Black Summer bushfires, insurers have paid out more than $16.8billion in natural disaster claims, including floods and cyclones. 



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