Hospital self-evacuates as fire threat nears


THE threat of a bushfires burning in the Somerset Region has seen a local hospital choose to "self-evacuate".

The Esk Hospital yesterday afternoon made the decision to evacuate patients as a bushfire on Esk Hampton Rd travelled in the direction of the hospital, which is about 20km away from the fire.

The blaze, which is part of the Pechey bushfire, is one of more than 70 fires burning across the state.


Rural Fire Brigade fighting a bush fire crossing Mount Jockey Rd, Ravensbourne. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Rural Fire Brigade fighting a bush fire crossing Mount Jockey Rd, Ravensbourne. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

A statement by West Moreton Health said "We would like to advise that Esk Hospital has now been safely evacuated because of the fire risk in the area."

It's understood a total of six patients have been evacuated.

A spokeswoman from the Queensland Police Service has reminded locals to listen to official messaging from police and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), saying the decision to evacuate was one made by the hospital.

A "leave immediately" warning remains in place for Ravensbourne, part of the Pechey fire.

On Sunday night, a large, unpredictable and fast-moving bushfire extended from Perseverance Dam Rd, Mount Jockey Rd, Horrex Rd, Garvey Rd, Purtill Rd and McQuillan Rd.

It was travelling in a northerly, easterly and south-easterly direction.

Residents on Brennan Rd up to Regent Rd were told to evacuate via Esk Hampton Rd in an easterly direction towards Esk.

Residents on and in the vicinity of Horrex Rd and McQuillan Rd should evacuate west along Esk Hampton Rd towards the New England Hwy.

Residents on and in the vicinity of Perseverance Dam Rd should evacuate west towards Crows Nest.

Meanwhile a dangerous bushfire on Moreton Island is expected to hit campsites, authorities say.


Queensland Fire and Emergency Services issued an alert on Sunday afternoon urging all campers to evacuate the island now.

As of 4.30pm the fire was travelling in a southerly direction from the north of the island.

"There is also potential for this fire to move unpredictably. It is expected to impact campsites right across Moreton Island in the coming hours and days.

"The fire could have a significant impact on campers."

Tangalooma Island Resort has opened its doors to campers who need somewhere to stay.

People camping on the eastern side of the island should travel on Southern Middle Rd or Bulwer-Blue Lagoon Rd towards the western side of the island before progressing south along the beach to Tangalooma.

"As the evening progresses, this fire is expected to change direction and move in a northerly direction," the alert said.