Resident: Baffle Creek people hiding to avoid evacuation
DESPITE warnings they could die if they stay, residents of a bushfire-affected community are avoiding authorities in an attempt to stay in the area.
Baffle Creek is one of several localities subject to mandatory evacuation orders but dozens of residents have refused to leave.
Karen Smallmon, who lives in Baffle Creek, said she knew there were many people hiding from police to avoid evacuation.
"They're all just dodging the police because if the police catch them they'll escort them out," Ms Smallmon told AAP.
"I know of one person they had to put in handcuffs because they wouldn't go."
Residents were staying not to protect their homes, Ms Smallmon said, but because they did not believe the fire would affect them.
"They don't think they're in danger, they think they can see it coming," she said.
Ms Smallmon's own home was at risk from the blaze but she said residents still in the area had confirmed the home was unaffected.
Residents who refuse to leave the evacuation zones have frustrated authorities, with Deputy Police Commissioner Bob Gee warning people risked their lives if they stayed put.
"People will burn to death," Mr Gee said.
Ms Smallmon said conditions remained perilous in the area today.
"There's one coming down from Wartburg heading towards the coastline and one coming from Deepwater and they should meet up," she said.
"It was just a big red glow last night ... the wind's just swirling and they haven't got any control. They've lost control completely."