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No relief in sight for Fraser Island fire as it approaches tourist resort

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Crews say it’s “frustrating” that the blaze, which has been burning for six weeks, was started by an illegal campfire in a remote part of the island.

Fire crews battling a huge blaze on Queensland's Fraser Island say decent rain is the only thing that will stop the emergency completely, as the front moves towards a tourist resort.

Residents on the island have been told to evacuate, along with 80 staff at the Kingfisher Bay resort with the fire burning just a few kilometres away.

Crews will today attempt to steer the fire around the resort.

"The reality for the fire on Fraser Island is it will continue to burn until we have some reasonable rainfall," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing told Today.

Extreme heat across much of Queensland, coupled with wind, is also hampering efforts.

A waterbombing fleet of aircraft has been called in douse the flames burning in largely inaccessible areas.

Crews on the ground are also frantically working to contain the fire, which has chewed through more than 76,000 hectares of tinder-dry scrub.

"It's really difficult to access," Commissioner Wassing said.

"We are very conscious it's a World Heritage site so we need to have a light footprint in terms of firefighting, if you will.

"The aerial asset is an important part of our strategy.

"We dropped another half a million litres of water and that's been effective in slowing the fire down and our aim is to steer it around Kingfisher Bay.

"But it's a slow, arduous effort."

The fire – which has been burning for six weeks – was started by an illegal campfire lit in a remote part of the island.

"It's frustrating for everybody … it's particularly frustrating for the local community now where obviously it's having a broader impact.

"We are very conscious of the impact on the mainland community, with the smoke, and our main aim is to reduce the impact of this fire in the longer term."

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Source: 9News

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