Man dies clearing fire break in central Queensland

A 21-year-old man has died after being hit by a falling tree while trying to clear a fire break in central Queensland.

Key points: People airlifted from Eungella after intense fire approached mountain-top township More than 100 fires burning across the state Better conditions today may be short-lived, severe fire weather forecast for tomorrow

He was cutting a tree with a chainsaw when it fell and trapped him at Rolleston, on the Central Highlands, west of Gladstone.

Police said three men tried to save him but he died at the scene.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk offered her condolences to his family and said it showed the dangers of bushfires.

'People in tears' as evacuate north Queensland mountain

Earlier, a helicopter rescue crew has airlifted 10 people from the north Queensland township of Eungella after a large bushfire threatened the community.

The CQ rescue chopper spent more than an hour ferrying men, women and children off the mountain top to nearby Finch Hatton on Friday evening.

People in the town had been told to seek shelter after fire cut the main road, with warnings "the fire poses a threat to all lives directly in its path".

The helicopter crew reported some rural firefighters opted to stay and fight the blaze rather than leave with other family members and a baby on one of the flights out.

Waterbombers, including a 737, dropped water on the fire, the warning for which has since been downgraded.

There are now no watch and act warnings for any of Queensland's fires.

Roger Sharp was one of those evacuated from Eungella.

He has lived in the area for 20 years and described yesterday's fire as "intense".

Photo Fire cut off the main road into Eungella.

Fire cuts off the main road into Eungella on November 11, 2018.Supplied: CQ Rescue

"The fire was lapping at the top of the ridge there where everyone was. We were all moved back away from where all the emergency equipment was," Mr Sharp said.

"There was an offer of a helicopter evacuation if anybody wanted it, the only hands that went up were parents of kids.

"It was so dry up there and we haven't had rain for ages... it has just gone crazy, it's something that no one has seen up there before."

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said some residents were making their way back into Eungella to check in on their homes.

He said the fire came close to one of the region's iconic buildings, the Eungella Chalet, but it stopped just short of the doorstep.

Photo The CQ Rescue chopper crew arrive in Finch Hatton with children evacuated from Eungella.

Chopper rescue crew on the ground with rescued women and childrenABC News: Kathleen Ferguson

"People were in tears yesterday about the fact that when they have to evacuate it, that was the end of the day for a lot of people, but it's still there standing," he said.

"A lot of people are absolutely exhausted after these three days of themselves fighting fires.

"The afternoons are the worst, we've found, and as the day heats up and the wind picks up a little bit and conditions are ripe again for the fire to take off or for a new one to start.

"It's on tenterhooks for the whole region again today."

Short-lived reprieve

QFES Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing said there were still more than 100 fires burning across the state.

"We've got significant fires in that Baffle Creek area, we've got Eungella, Finch Hatton. There's some really significant fire activity — very large fires," he said.

"A lot of these fires are actually joining together to become one larger fire.

He said conditions today are better than earlier in the week, but that will be short-lived.

"Tomorrow we're back into some very high and severe fire weather again. And then hopefully our best-case scenario at this stage is not until the middle of next week where we'll see fire weather conditions moderate somewhat."

Nearly a week after residents of Deepwater were first told to leave their homes, QFES has now downgraded their warning from "watch and act" to "advice".

But locals are not allowed to return home yet as QFES says road conditions are "extremely dangerous".

Agnes Water incident controller Craig Magick said fire crews were likely to remain at Deepwater, putting out the fire for another five days.

"Our crews have commenced backburning and constructing and strengthening containment lines," he said.

"We've had over 200-plus properties directly under threat from fire during the course of this incident.

"This morning I have a safety assessment team commencing clearing roads, taking care of any dangerous trees in the Deepwater area and deeming the area safe, so hopefully we can start to get residents back into their properties and homes as quickly as we can."

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