KEY POINTS:
• The death toll from the emergency now stands at four after another victim was found dead overnight
• Over 1000 firefighters remain in the field to protect properties
• Conditions eased in New South Wales overnight but crews continue to battle multiple blazes
• At least 300 homes have been destroyed since the weekend
• A range of warnings remain in place across Queensland

A teenager has been charged over a fire in Queensland, which destroyed multiple homes.

The Cobraball bushfire started at around 1.30pm on Saturday and destroyed 14 homes and 28 sheds.

The blaze burnt through almost 12,000 hectares and devastated nearby areas of Bungundarra, Adelaide Park, Maryville and Lake Mary.

Advertisement

Police have said they have spoken with a 16-year-old male and will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.

Authorities have urged parents to speak with their children about the consequences of lighting fires in this time of heightened danger.

The charges were announced this afternoon at a press conference in Yeppoon.

"This investigation's been ongoing since the start of the fire, so we've had an avenue of investigation that we've been pursuing," State Disaster Coordinator and Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.

Social media users have shared their outrage at the news, with many agreeing the teen needs to be held accountable for his actions.

"I'm getting so sick of reading these daily. These kids need to be punished," one person said.

"They are more than old enough, or there parents need to be fined. Someone has to pay the consequences."

"His punishment will be nothing compared to the people's lives destroyed animals lost lives lost. So heartbreaking," another wrote.

Advertisement

The Cobraball fire on Old Byfield Rd is currently at Advice level, with people in the area being warned to stay informed.

More than A$1 million raised for bushfires

More than A$1 million has been raised on multiple GoFundMe pages aimed at helping those impacted by the bushfires.

This money has been raised in less than a week through 17,000 donations.

A monumental amount of donations are pouring in for the Port Macquarie Animal Hospital to help koalas injured in the fires.

More than A$480,000 has been raised so far, smashing the campaign's original A$25,000 target.

Another popular campaign has been the Mid Coast Bushfire Relief, which has raised almost A$33,000 for victims in the Mid Coast region of NSW.

Another GoFundMe campaign aimed at raising money to give back to our fire services has raised over A$16,400.

The Regional Manager of GoFundMe Australia, Nicola Britton, praised Australians for joining together to help those affected by the fires.

"We have witnessed people from all walks of life from CEOs, businesses small and large and international communities who call Australia home, kick off fundraising as people across the country turn their compassion into action," she said.

"Together they have now launched over 360 funds to quickly get help in the hands of those who need it.

"The generosity seen over the past week shines a light on the thousands of random acts of kindness we see every day at GoFundMe.

"With four fatalities reported, over 300 homes lost and many still at risk, we have no doubt that these fundraising efforts will continue and be put to good use in the coming months as Australia begins its recovery process."

Two more charged over NSW fires

Two more people have been charged after allegedly lighting fires during yesterday's total fire ban.

The first incident occurred at about 1.40am yesterday when a 37-year-old man allegedly used a crowbar to lift a section of footpath and set underground wires alight in Annandale.

The man left the scene with a woman and emergency services were called after witnesses saw flames coming from the ground.

The blaze was put out and police were notified.

The man was arrested at about 1.30pm near where the fire was lit and a search warrant was executed at a home on Johnstone Street, Annandale.

Several items were seized and the man was charged with destroy or damage property in company by means of fire and failing to comply with a total fire ban.

He was refused bail to appear before Newtown Local Court today.

Police are working to identify the woman involved.

In another incident, emergency services were called to a home on Long Point Rd East, Long Point, just after 9pm following reports a small fire had been started in a backyard.

Officers spoke with a 26-year-old man who allegedly lit the fire to burn rubbish.

The fire was less than 40 metres from a shed that contained petrol, oil and fertilisers.

The man was issued with a Future Court Attendance Notice for failing to comply with a total fire ban.

He is due to appear before Singleton Local Court on January 16, 2020.

Incredible fire tornado in Queensland

A volunteer firefighter captured the incredible moment a fire tornado spun into life as crews were battling bushfires near Yeppoon, Queensland.

Dan Boswood filmed as the tornado formed while fires burned on the ground below in Lake Mary on Monday.

Kirsty Boswood uploaded the vision to Facebook.

"Dan filmed this today out the back of Lake Mary, just insane and a small snippet of what conditions are like fighting this fire," she wrote.

"He like many others in our community who are fighting this are volunteers, honestly what they do and all the QFES is nothing short of amazingly courageous, all to save someone else's property and lives."

Queensland authorities issued a "prepare to leave" warning for several areas on Tuesday, including Lake Mary, and warned that conditions could quickly worsen.

A fire tornado was captured on camera near Yeppoon, Queensland.
A fire tornado was captured on camera near Yeppoon, Queensland.
The fire tornado sent debris flying near Yeppoon.
The fire tornado sent debris flying near Yeppoon.

Emergency warning for NSW's north east

A fire burning in NSW's north east has been upgraded to emergency level, with residents being warned to take shelter.

The Myall Creek Rd fire is burning near Bungawalbin and Yellow Creek and has already impacted more than 4600 hectares.

Northerly winds are pushing the fire south towards New Italy, Donaldson, and Doubleduke State Forest.

Residents in Neileys Lagoon and Yellow Crossing have been told to take shelter as the fire front approaches.

Youth charged over lighting fire that destroyed 14 homes

A teenager has been charged over a fire west of Yeppoon in Queensland, which destroyed multiple homes.

The Cobraball bushfire started at around 1.30pm on Saturday and destroyed 14 homes and 28 sheds.

The blaze burnt through almost 12,000 hectares and devastated nearby areas of Bungundarra, Adelaide Park, Maryville and Lake Mary.

Police have said they have spoken with a 16-year-old male and will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.

Authorities have urged parents to speak with their children about the consequences of lighting fires in this time of heightened danger.

The charges were announced this afternoon at a press conference in Yeppoon.

"This investigation's been ongoing since the start of the fire, so we've had an avenue of investigation that we've been pursuing," State Disaster Coordinator and Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.

Social media users have shared their outrage at the news, with many agreeing the teen needs to be held accountable for his actions.

"I'm getting so sick of reading these daily. These kids need to be punished," one person said.

"They are more than old enough, or there parents need to be fined. Someone has to pay the consequences."

"His punishment will be nothing compared to the people's lives destroyed animals lost lives lost. So heartbreaking," another wrote.

The Cobraball fire on Old Byfield Rd is currently at Advice level, with people in the area being warned to stay informed.

Haunting final post from bushfire victim

The fourth victim of the destructive bushfires spanning across NSW made a heart-wrenching final post to social media on the day he disappeared.

"Seriously looks and sounds like (the) apocalypse out there," Barry Parsons wrote on Facebook at 5.15pm last Friday.

Barry Parsons has been named as the fourth victim of the New South Wales fires. Photo / Facebook
Barry Parsons has been named as the fourth victim of the New South Wales fires. Photo / Facebook

"F***ed up being on your own in these times."

The body of the 58-year-old man was found in burnt-out bushland north west of Kempsey on the Mid North Coast shortly before midnight on Wednesday.

Police said the body was discovered by locals on the southern end of the Kyuna Track at Willawarrin, about 34km from Kempsey.

Local police have been told Parsons was last seen on Friday, November 8.

Earlier that afternoon, the 58-year-old had also posted about the "hot and windy day", noting there was "smoke everywhere" and it looked "like dusk at 2pm".

He continued to provide updates throughout the afternoon of the "Mandarin skies".

"Downright apocalyptic," he wrote.

The other three identified victims are Vivian Chaplain, 69, Julie Fletcher, 63, and George Nole.

Read more:
Haunting final post from bushfire victim

Terrifying scenes from Mid Coast fire

A fire that has been burning for days on NSW's Mid Coast ramped up again last night and was briefly upgraded to emergency level.

Residents in Hillville, near Taree, watched on as the blaze tore over a mountain and spread through the bushland.

Pictures from the scene show the huge fire raging in the distance and turning the mountainside red.

'Leave now': Fire flares again in Queensland

Residents on Queensland's Sunshine Coast have been told to evacuate their homes again after the fire that forced them to flee yesterday flared up once more.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has warned the fire continues to pose a threat to Noosa North Shore and "could have a significant impact on the community".

Those that are still in the area have been told to leave and those that have not returned home have been told to stay away.

"The fire is currently contained, however this could change quickly and residents should not return to the area until authorities advise it is safe to do so. Road closures remain in place," the QFES said.

"Fire crews are working alongside heavy machinery to reinforce fire breaks and patrol the area. While this work is taking place, it is not safe to return."

An evacuation centre has been set up at the Noosa Leisure Centre on Wallace Drive.

Smoke fills the skies near Noosa. Photo / news.com.au
Smoke fills the skies near Noosa. Photo / news.com.au

Video reveals pilot's close call

A video of the waterbomber that crashed while fighting a fire in Queensland's Toowoomba Region yesterday shows just how close the helicopter came to landing in the blaze.

The footage, posted to Twitter by Nine News reporter Adam Hegarty, shows the aircraft crashed just metres from where the fire was raging.

It is understood the incident occurred when the chopper was trying to land in strong winds.

The pilot survived and was treated by paramedics for minor injuries before being transported to hospital.

Help arrives from abroad

The Hanwood Rural Fire Brigade, based in Griffith, yesterday confirmed on Facebook the DC-10 Air Tanker 911 would be flying from the United States "to join our current fleet of aircraft tackling the bushfires around NSW".

"The turbofan-powered aircraft can carry up to 35,500 litres of water or fire retardant in an exterior belly-mounted tank, the contents of which can be released in eight seconds," the post read.

The brigade said "thankfully" it would be staying with the RFS on a lease basis for the remainder of the bushfire danger period.

The turbofan-powered aircraft can carry up to 35,500 litres of water or fire retardant in an exterior belly-mounted tank. Photo / news.com.au
The turbofan-powered aircraft can carry up to 35,500 litres of water or fire retardant in an exterior belly-mounted tank. Photo / news.com.au

Crowe's niece hits back

Russell Crowe's niece has hit back at claims the actor received preferential treatment from the NSW Rural Fire Service during this week's bushfire crisis.

Crowe's 400 hectare property in Nana Glen (about 25km northwest of Coffs Harbour) was under threat from fire earlier this week.

One of his neighbours, Debbie Waldon, lashed out at the star during an interview with Channel 7 news on Tuesday, saying, "I'm angry because our friend's house is there burning and all the trucks go to Russell Crowe's. What about normal everyday people?"

The NSW RFS dismissed the neighbour's accusation and told the Daily Mail, "Crews are dispatched on priority of jobs and the properties that need it the most, we are not aware of who owns the properties".

Yesterday the actor's niece, Chelsea Crowe, described the neighbour's claim and subsequent media reports as "bulls**t".

Ms Crowe, who lives on the property at Nana Glen, wrote in a firey Facebook post: "Unfortunately, there is a lot of gossip & bulls**t media going around that fire crews abandoned properties in favour to protect Russell's home.

"If you look at a map and knew the boundary lines the entire property is backed by tallawudjah and the state forest. Whilst they moved to crews to a previously scouted vantage point to attack it as it came through the ridge.

"This move was not to protect his buildings in particular. It wouldn't have mattered who lived there. But at midnight they were still fighting it to protect not just from the residential side (which was stopping the rest of Nana town going up) and the farm side (stopping the rest of Brewers rd, ferrets rd and the power station). So if you think they were favouring a few buildings of his only, kindly f**k off."

Crowe, who is currently overseas, has been providing updates about his property over the past few days on Twitter.

Worst conditions over for NSW, alerts remain for QLD

The worst of the dramatic bushfire conditions that have plagued New South Wales eased on Wednesday evening, while several alerts remain in place for Queensland.

It comes after a horror few days which saw firefighters battle an "unprecedented" number of emergency level fires on multiple fronts.

74 fires in NSW rage, with residents escaping with what they could. Video / Seven News

The NSW Rural Fire Service posted an emotional tribute to its firefighters and members of the community on Wednesday evening. It was liked more than 1000 times.

Fireworks display stuns Sydney

People on social media expressed their shock at a fireworks display in Sydney amid a total fire ban in New South Wales.

Bushfires have raged out of control along the News South Wales coast and hinterland with up to 17-emergency level fires over the last week. They have since been downgraded but many residents have evacuated their homes under threat of flames.

Despite the fire ban, Sydney residents reported a 20 minute firework display taking place over the harbour on Wednesday night, with many expressing shock it could have gone ahead.

Activist says domestic violence peaks after major fires

A women's rights activist has sparked anger after warning some firefighters will return home from the bushfire crisis in Queensland and News South Wales to beat their partners.

Sherele Moody made the comments alongside Greens senator Larissa Waters at a press conference on Wednesday.

Sherele Moody is an anti-domestic violence and women's rights campaigner. Photo / Facebook
Sherele Moody is an anti-domestic violence and women's rights campaigner. Photo / Facebook

"After a cataclysmic event like this, domestic violence peaks," she said.

"Women become extremely unsafe, when generally the men return home from the fires and subject them to domestic violence."

In a Facebook post, Moody doubled down on her comments.

"There's not one Aussie whose heart isn't going out to the country's firefighters, emergency services crews and the people who live in the areas where the fires are burning," she wrote.

The map shows the areas at risk in Queensland. Image / news.com.au
The map shows the areas at risk in Queensland. Image / news.com.au

"But what happens after some heroes go home? What happens when domestic violence perpetrators finish their work on the frontline of a major crisis? They abuse the women in their lives - harder than they ever have," she wrote.

"Let me be clear. I am not saying every firefighter, emergency service responder or victim of this crisis is a perpetrator."

"However, those who are in these roles and do perpetrate family abuse are more likely to attack their loved ones following natural disasters," she said.

There's no rainfall on the horizon for NSW. Photo / Nathan Edwards
There's no rainfall on the horizon for NSW. Photo / Nathan Edwards

"No-one wants to view our fire heroes and survivors in a negative light - I totally get that," she added.

"But we do need to have these discussions in order to keep women safe because they are at a very high risk of being maimed or killed."

Moody said her claims were backed by research conducted after the 2009 Black Saturday fires in Victoria, although researcher Dr Debra Parkinson told 7 News the study never made specific findings about firefighters.

"We absolutely distance ourselves from the statement made by Sherele Moody that it is firefighters doing it. She does not speak for us," Senator Waters later told 7.

Tim Edward, who said he'd been a firefighter for 10 years, labelled Ms Moody's comments "disgusting" on Facebook.

"I don't go home and belt my wife up, I go home and make our favourite coffee and talk to her and give her a hug," he said.

Cars burnt out in the wake of the fires. Photo / news.com.au
Cars burnt out in the wake of the fires. Photo / news.com.au

"How dare you take the statistics of cataclysmic violence, which are very well correct, and turn that around on male firefighters being proponents of partner abuse after big jobs."

Crashed helicopter pilot seen walking

The Courier-Mail reports that the pilot of the crashed waterbombing helicopter was seen walking around the craft after the incident.

The helicopter crash-landed while fighting the fire at Pechey. Photo / ABC
The helicopter crash-landed while fighting the fire at Pechey. Photo / ABC

He was assessed at the scene and taken to Toowoomba Base Hospital with minor injuries, QAS Senior Operations Supervisor Mark Hancock said.

The Bell 214B is owned by Sunshine Coast company McDermott Aviation. "The pilot's okay and that's all we are worried about at the moment," managing director Simon McDermott told the paper.

Australian fires: Scene of a flare-up at Pechey, where a pilot has crashed his water chopper in rough winds. Video / Adam Hegarty

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau says it has been notified and "will gather further information into the circumstances of the accident ahead of deciding whether to launch a formal air safety investigation".