A massive fire bearing down on Laidley in Queensland's Lockyer Valley is believed to have claimed at least one house.
Laidley residents were warned to seek shelter on Tuesday afternoon after a fire started in dangerous conditions and raged toward the town in a north easterly direction.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service said it was too dangerous to leave the small town, 80 kilometres west of Brisbane.
"Driving now would be extremely dangerous," they said at 3pm.
"The fire is expected to have a life-threatening impact on the community".
The ABC is reporting that at least one house has been lost with pictures of the damage. QFES said they would not be able to clarify that until after the fire is contained.
Police declared an emergency zone bounded by Railway Street, Drayton Road, Rosewood-Laidley Road, Old Grandchester Road, Range Crescent, Patrick Street and Vaux Street.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council was contacted for comment but said the mayor was unavailable because her house was under threat.
The council's Facebook page says a temporary evacuation centre is open at Laidley Cultural Centre for residents fleeing the flames.
Posts on the page offered help and urged people with animals to go to the showgrounds.
Meanwhile residents at another blaze nearby, at Grandchester, were urged to leave as that unpredictable fire barrelled east towards them.
It is expected to impact homes on Ryan Road, Range Crescent, Kessling Drive, Mountain Road, Clearidge Court, Buhse Court and Old Grandchester Road.
They were just two of 20 fires burning across Queensland on Tuesday in unseasonably hot, windy weather.
Many are in central Queensland, which has a severe fire danger warning.
Temperatures in the Lockyer Valley reached 41C on Tuesday as gusty, westerly winds fanned another dangerous bushfire that threatens the township of Thornton.
That began a week ago from a lightning strike in inaccessible country in Glen Rock State Forest.
It was met with water bombers and fire crews on Monday after it emerged out of the national park and into grazing land.
Meteorologist Vince Rowlands said the fire danger in the southeast corner would drop from severe to very high on Wednesday as a cooler trough starts to push through.
He said some areas could even receive rain by Friday, with falls of up to 40mm possible on Saturday.
Queensland's bushfire season began in September with devastating fires forcing evacuations - the worst in the Scenic Rim, Sunshine Coast and Granite Belt regions.
Firefighters said they were well prepared for this week's spike in temperatures across tinder-dry country, and want the public to be ready also.
Australian Associated Press