Updated on 28 Nov 2018. Posted on 28 Nov 2018

    "It Is Going To Get A Lot Worse": 8,000 Australians From A Single Town Are Evacuating Because Of A Fire

    "If it was me, I'd go right now, straight away," said state disaster coordinator Bob Gee.

    Paul Beutel / AAPIMAGE

    A man protects his house from fire in Baffle Creek, where another fire is burning.

    Eight thousand people have been told to evacuate from a Queensland town due to a "catastrophic" fire.

    On Wednesday afternoon, the Queensland government told residents of Gracemere to leave and go to the showgrounds at nearby Rockhampton.

    In a press conference, premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was a "stressful" situation. "This is a fast-moving fire, the conditions are catastrophic."

    LEAVE IMMEDIATELY: Stanwell (south-west of Rockhampton) bushfire as at 3.00pm Wednesday 28 Nov. Severe fire. Kabra and Gracemere are being asked to evacuate. Evac centre open at the Rocky Show Grounds. https://t.co/jsBkZSPIgO

    "I need you to all be strong," said Palaszczuk.

    "It is going to get a lot worse, a lot more intense, and we need people to move in a calm and ordered fashion and I need the Gracemere community to be very strong tonight."

    Police commissioner Ian Stewart told the press conference they were in "unprecedented territory" and that the fire was "racing" from an area with large farms towards Gracemere.

    More horrific vision coming in from Deepwater in Central Queensland. These fires are catastrophic. Truly scary. #QLDFires @abcbrisbane https://t.co/y0el1Ounqw

    "If it was me, I'd go right now, straight away," said state disaster coordinator Bob Gee at the conference.

    "I expect that we may well be here later on in the evening, talking about other places," Gee said.

    Palaszczuk asked residents to look after their neighbours, elderly people, and people with disabilities.

    "If your family lives there, call them right now, tell them to get out, tell them to get to safety," Stewart said. While police are doorknocking, they will not be able to reach everyone, he said.

    smoke coming over Rockhampton from fires moving from Stanwell to Gracemere

    Stewart warned that roads would be busy and urged people to move in an orderly fashion and not to panic.

    The residents of Kabra, which has a population of under 1,000, have also been directed to leave.

    Hannah Ryan is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

    Contact Hannah Ryan at hannah.ryan@buzzfeed.com.

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