Since it was sparked by an illegal campfire seven weeks ago, the blaze has blackened half the island off Australia’s north eastern coast, which is part of the Great Barrier Reef and famed for its tropical rainforest on sand dunes, and inland lakes.
“We now don’t anticipate that that fire will run into the Happy Valley settlement today but we’ll continue to work hard,” Mr Leach said.
“We will continue to have aircraft on the fire from first light tomorrow to try and knock that fire down as best we can.”
Queensland’s emergency services urged residents to evacuate late on Sunday afternoon.
“Leaving immediately is the safest option, as it will soon be too dangerous to drive,” the state’s Fire and Emergency Services said on social media. “Any persons in the vicinity of Happy Valley township should leave the area.”
Baking temperatures across Queensland last week caused peak bushfire conditions, with emergency services currently attending to 48 fires, Mr Leach said.
Australia has been experiencing hotter and longer summers, with last season dubbed “Black Summer” by the country’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, due to unusually prolonged and intense bushfires that burned nearly 12 million hectares (30 million acres) and killed 33 people and an estimated 1 billion animals.