Firies get upper hand in Qld ahead of risk
Thousands of people forced to flee their Sunshine Coast homes to escape a dangerous bushfire have returned to their neighbourhoods relieved to find them still standing.
Two teens have since been charged with allegedly lighting the inferno that blackened bushland, destroyed a house and charred front yards and burnt down suburban fences.
A 14-year-old boy from Peregian Springs and a 15-year-old Coolum Beach girl have been charged with endangering particular property by fire and an investigation is ongoing.
Milder temperatures have meanwhile given bushfire crews across Queensland a chance to get dozens of blazes under control before the fire danger spikes again on Friday.
Almost 70 fires are still burning from the southeast corner to Lockhart River in the far north, with more 36,000 hectares of bushland destroyed since the crisis began late last week.
The most dangerous blaze at Peregian on the Sunshine Coast has slowed and thousands of residents displaced when the day began have since gone home.
They bunked in with friends and family, sheltered in evacuation centres where they were comforted for an army of volunteers or in the homes of strangers who offered them somewhere to stay.
Noosa Council Mayor Tony Wellington said the news that it was safe to go home was met with glee.
"People were at the road blocks to wait to get back to their homes and as soon as the road blocks were lifted there was significant jubilation - cheers went up," he said.
"I know many people will be relived to get back to assess the damage."
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing said other fires burning across the state were not threatening any properties.
"The fires are doing what we expected them to do and conditions are looking good over the next couple of days, but we've still got a lot more work to do," he said.
A fire at Stanthorpe and Applethorpe has been put out, and residents there have been told they can also return to their properties.
The Bureau of Meteorology's Richard Wardle says cooler temperatures and lighter winds expected on Thursday are favourable for firefighters, who are being given support from interstate crews.
However, the fire danger will spike again on Friday and Saturday when temperatures heat up.
"I suppose the good news is that even though we're going to see a south-westerly wind burst like we did over the past weekend, we're not expecting that to be as strong as we experienced over the past weekend," Mr Wardle said.
Seventeen homes and five commercial properties have been destroyed by bushfires since Thursday, with many more damaged.
A special police task force has been established to investigate if any of the other fires were caused by arson.
Detectives have now established that ten fires were deliberately lit.
Eight of those were set by juveniles.
Some had been cautioned while others will be dealt with in court.
Authorities have renewed calls for parents to reinforce the message about the devastating effects these fires can cause.
Police have also stated there are no confirmed reports of looting.
© AAP 2019