'One of the worst knocks you'll get': Applethorpe on alert
AFTER a sleepless night, that included nervously camping out in the car, Barry Jones and his family at Applethorpe remain on high alert.
Mr Jones and his family of four have been evacuated from their Melaleuca Crescent home three times today.
In the latest development, the Applethorpe area were placed on 'Watch and Act' alert at 2.30pm.
Police have blocked portions of the New England Highway, but Mr Jones said if need be, they can exit via McKillop Lane back into town.
"Most of it is on the opposite side of the highway to us - on the western side and heading north.
"When we look outside up towards the north there's a lot of smoke coming from up on the eastern side of the highway too so wouldn't be surprised if there's fire in there now."
His family were evacuated at 10.30am this morning too. But one of the worst knocks on the door Mr Jones has ever received came at 1am this morning.
"One of the cops came knocking on the door and told us to leave.
"We didn't know where to go - it was one o'clock in the morning.
"Luckily we've got friends up the road and one of them works at Granite Belt Fruit Freighters so we went up there with them to the sheds.
"We hung out there for around three hours. Tried to come back into town but they wouldn't let us back in.
"There was no sleep or anything. It was a big night.
"It was pretty scary to get that knock on the door. When we got up we looked over the roof of the neighbours house and all we could see were flames, big red glow and embers all over the place.
Mr Jones said if there's a wind change he "wouldn't surprised if it comes back our way".
"I'm not too worried at the moment. I think the worst has passed us now we hope."
People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality.
Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you believe you are under threat.