Cunningham Highway 'far too dangerous' for motorists

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UPDATE 11AM, NOV 19: THE Cunningham Highway is "far too dangerous" for motorists, according to QFES public information officer Matthew Mulroney.

"There are large trees still falling onto the highway from Mount Mitchell," Mr Mulroney said.

"They're dislodging rocks onto the highway."

Clean up crews are working on the scene during daylight hours to clear a path for emergency services to move through the area.

"But even the fireys won't use it at night because it's just too dangerous," Mr Mulroney said. 

"It will remain closed until it is safe again."

The highway is closed near Aratula, from Lake Moogerah Rd to the Top Of The Gap.

Drivers will have to head down through Moogerah, Carneys Creek, The Head, Killarney and into Warwick on Carneys Creek and Head roads.

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Aerial footage of Clumber fire: QFES helicopter captures extent of Clumber fire.
Aerial footage of Clumber fire: QFES helicopter captures extent of Clumber fire.

UPDATE 3PM SUNDAY: ROAD closures remain in place for the Cunningham Highway as severe fire dangers impacts the region.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads advises that the highway remains closed between Lake Moogerah Road and the Fishers Truck Stop due to falling trees as a result of the fire. 

The highway is also closed from South Branch Road to the Top of the Gap on the Tregony side. 

The department advises drivers to seek alternative routes. 

UPDATE 8AM SATURDAY: THE Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads updated their road closure information this morning to include Cunningham Highway closures spanning from Lake Moogerah Rd near Aratula through The Gap and into Tregony.

Fire continues to severely impact the Main Range and its surrounding communities. 

*See here for latest on road conditions*

WATCH: Shocking aerial footage shows devastating reality of fire near Cunningham Highway.

READ THIS: Warwick truckies feel the heat during Cunningham closures.


UPDATE 2.30PM FRIDAY: FIRE is passing across the Cunningham Highway, QFES public information officer Sarah Martin said. 

"The highway is currently impacted by fire and it is unsafe for vehicles to be travelling on that road," Ms Martin said.

Trees and rocks fell onto the highway overnight, heightening the risk to motorists.

The possibility of debris falling on cars and the bitumen reigniting will prevent the road from opening within "at least" the next 48 hours. 

A team from Transport and Main Roads will clear the road and assess the safety after the fire hazard has passed.

"It will not reopen until it is safe to do so and we don't know when that will be at this stage," Ms Martin said.

The highway is closed from Lake Moogerah Road to the Top Of The Gap, as at November 15.

UPDATE 7.30AM FRIDAY: THE Cunningham Highway is closed indefinitely due to bushfire hazards plaguing The Gap.

According to Warwick Senior Sargeant Shane Reid the situation hadn't improved overnight.

"My understanding is that fires are still approaching the service station on top of The Gap and the ridge near Mitchell's Gully," he said.

"If fire continues to burn up towards the edge of the highway, and up and down The Gap, it will stay closed.

"There's no indication at this stage when it might open again."

The highway is closed from Lake Moogerah Road to the Top Of The Gap, as at November 15. 

UPDATE 11.30AM THURSDAY: FIRE at Spicers Peak rages on, preventing QPS from re-opening the Cunningham Highway. 

The road remains closed and motorists are asked to seek alternative routes. 


UPDATE 7AM THURSDAY: THE Cunningham Highway remains closed in both directions today as very high fire danger conditions continue to plague the Southern Downs and Scenic Rim.

It is unknown when the highway will reopen and traffic is currently being diverted through Toowoomba.

The New England Highway between Pechey Maclagan Road, Pechey and the Esk Hampton Road, Hampton has reopened since the Pechey fire was downgraded overnight. 


UPDATE 2.45PM WEDNESDAY: SEVERE fire danger will ensure the Cunningham Highway stays closed for at least the remainder of the afternoon, according to QFES public information officer Matthew Mulroney.

Clumber fire fronts have extended to Mount Mitchell where they are creating a number of potential problems for motorists.

"Because we have trees burning, they're falling over and pushing rocks down the mountain," Mr Mulroney said. 

"We end up with rocks sliding onto the highway where they can crack, end up on cars or cause landslides.  

"We don't want rocks compromising people's safety so for that reason the road will remain closed."  


UPDATE 8.15AM WEDNESDAY: QUEENSLAND Police have extended the road closure up towards the Fisher Park Truck Stop at Maryvale. 

Diversions are in place in Toowoomba.


EARLIER: THE Cunningham Highway is closed due to fire danger, blocking the main route from Warwick to Brisbane.

The road is closed in both directions to all traffic from Lake Moogerah Rd to the Top of The Gap, through Mount Edwards and Tregony.

Motorists are advised to seek alternative routes or face long delays.

Residents in the surrounding areas have been advised to evacuate, and those who have left the area are not permitted to return until conditions ease.

Wilkinson Rd remains open to evacuees.

Dangerous fire also continues to burn north of Spicers Gap Road near Mount Mathieson, travelling in a north, north-easterly direction towards the highway.

There is a separate warning for this fire at Mount Alphen and Double Top to 'Watch and Act' and prepare for imminent evacuation.

It is not known when the highway will reopen but fire danger warnings remain 'severe' today.