Heritage-listed lodge among structures damaged in Queensland fires

Heritage-listed lodge among structures damaged in Queensland fires
Queensland fire crews are still battling extremely difficult conditions as they try to save communities from two huge fires.
There are about 50 fires burning around the state on Sunday but a blaze at the border towns of Applethorpe and Stanthorpe and a fire in the Gold Coast hinterland are causing the most concern.
"Firefighters are still fighting there in difficult conditions and that is expected to continue for days," a Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesman said.
Residents attempt to protect their properties from bushfires in Queensland's Granite Belt region. (9News)
Firefighters battle a blaze in Stanthorpe. (9News)
Twenty structures have been destroyed by bushfires since Thursday when the state's fire season began with severe to extreme conditions across much of the south.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services say the damage includes 11 homes lost in Sarabah and Binna Burra, as well as three in the Southern Downs region and one in the far north.
One of the damaged structures is the heritage-listed Binna Burra Lodge that was built in 1933.
"Early this morning it crept into the Binna Burra resort and there has been significant structural loss," Mr Christensen told a community briefing in Canungra.
"The reality is we should expect significant structural loss (and) that has already occurred, and potentially much more loss."
"That is what is deeply concerning, and fairly difficult ... The really great news is that we continue to enjoy the outcome that we have had no loss of life."
Water bombing is helping the firefighting efforts at the fire that has burned along a 10km front from Canungra to Binna Burra.There are still dangerous hotspots along that line but the fire is of concern at the southern end near Binna Burra.
There was some good news overnight, when an 85-year-old man reported missing from Beechmont, near the Binna Burra fire, was found safe and well.
Hundreds of people were evacuated in Stanthorpe and Applethorpe on Friday, and from Applethorpe again on Saturday afternoon but that ferocious fire was downgraded early on Sunday to a watch and act warning.
Residents have been warned to be prepared to leave because the dangerous fire that's heading in a north, north easterly direction towards Applethorp could get worse very quickly.
The drought-hit area, where there's little water left, knows that, and they are facing another difficult night.
QFES assistant commissioner Megan Stiffler told a community meeting in Stanthorpe on Saturday they would not have the fire under control before Monday.
"We have days ahead of us and lots of hard work through the night to secure all edges of this fire," she said.
Waterbombing aircraft douse flames in Stanthorpe. (9News)
At least three homes have been destroyed in Stanthorpe and Applethorpe. (9News)
In the Gold Coast hinterland, where 11 homes have been lost, the fire was raging on both sides of Binna Burra road early on Sunday and moving easterly towards Numinbah Valley and Springbrook.
QFES Assistant Commissioner Kevin Walsh said the blazes that destroyed those homes were ferocious fires in the worst conditions he'd ever seen.
"Firefighters stood side by side battling wind gusts of up to 90km/h," he said."I've never seen anything as bad as that."
Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayor Greg Christensen has warned his community that for some, it's still too dangerous to return.
Winds along the coast and inland are expected to ease back from Tuesday.
Authorities have praised affected residents for heeding advice but warned against complacency.
Firefighters are still battling to get the upper hand against several bushfires burning out of control in NSW, the nastiest of which are in the state's north.
With AAP.
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