Aerial firefighting operations are underway to control the fires burning in the Pilbara region.
Aircraft crews are working with helicopter crews from the Australian Air Force (AAF) and Queensland Police to fight the fires that have been raging in the region.
Key points:The ABC’s John Latham says there are no safe evacuation routes for the community, but emergency services are working to keep people safe from the firesA major fire in the area has caused heavy smoke and flames to engulf several towns in the state’s north, causing widespread disruption to transport services and the evacuation of homesA firefighting operation has been called off and firefighters are being diverted to the Pilbarra region of Queensland.
The fires in Pilbara have forced more than 2,000 people to leave their homes, while dozens of homes and businesses have been destroyed.
Firefighters are now working with helicopters to fight fire from above, which is the first time they have been deployed to the region in years.
More than 600 firefighters are also assisting in the response, with more than a dozen helicopters in the air.
“There are no evacuation routes available for the Pilbarra community and a major fire has started to burn in the Northern Territory,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
But she has also warned people not to drive in the bush, saying it is dangerous.
“People should drive only when absolutely necessary and don’t drive over fires,” she said.
“There is no safe place to drive, no safe time to drive or be on the road.”
The state has been under severe bushfire conditions for several days, with a mandatory evacuation order for the region due to go into effect on Wednesday.
Police say residents of remote areas have been evacuated as well, with emergency services trying to keep traffic flowing to areas where residents are trapped.
Residents are also being advised to take their pets out of the bush.
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