Firies reinforce Fraser Island defences

A bushfire on Fraser Island continues to burn on a number of fronts weeks after it was sparked.
A bushfire on Fraser Island continues to burn on a number of fronts weeks after it was sparked.

Firefighters on Fraser Island are strengthening their defences against a seven-week-old bushfire that has destroyed almost half of the world-heritage-listed national park.

Water bombers have dumped more than a million litres of water and fire-retardant gel on the blaze, which has razed 81,500 hectares of vegetation since being sparked by an illegal campfire.

But the loose soil on the world's largest sand island is causing the liquid to drain away quickly in the inaccessible bush-covered dunes where the fire continues to burn on multiple fronts.

One is about 2km east-northeast of Kingfisher Bay Resort and heading in a south-easterly direction toward the popular holiday spot.

Guests were evacuated on Monday and most staff followed late on Wednesday.

Seven workers remain at the site to look after the firefighters, who have since moved in.

On the eastern side of the island, the fire is about 4km west of the Happy Valley community.

"Ground crews are being assisted by water bombers and heavy plant equipment to strengthen a fire break along Cornwells Road as a southern containment line," a Queensland Fire and Emergency Service spokesman said on Thursday.

"People in the vicinity of Eli Creek, Yidney Rocks, The Oakes and Poyungan Valley should stay informed as the fire continues to burn in inaccessible terrain."

Authorities warn a persistent heatwave could see weather conditions deteriorate.

QFES took over management of the fire from the national park's ranger service on Friday.

It immediately ordered tourists to stay away from the island, closing access to all people except residents and essential workers.

Visitors already on the island have been told to stay close to campsites and avoid travelling on inland tracks and roads.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Wednesday ordered a review into the Department of Environment and QFES emergency response to the blaze.

"The sight of it burning is so painful," she told parliament.

"It's understandable that those who love the island want to be assured that everything that could be done to protect it has and is being done.

"That is why I can confirm the Inspector-General Emergency Management has been instructed to conduct a full review. He will examine all aspects of preparedness and response."

The giant blaze is thought to have been started by an illegal campfire on October 14.

Fraser Island is about 250km north of Brisbane and 123km long.

According to The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, it covers 181,851 hectares.

Australian Associated Press