ITV bosses are on high alert and braced for the prospect of having to evacuate the I’m A Celebrity camp – after huge bushfires began heading south towards the set.
The conditions in some parts of Queensland are now rated as “catastrophic” – thanks to a combination of fierce, gusting winds, low humidity and record high temperatures.
Up to 200 wildfires are raging across the region, with the closest one being just 60km north of the camp in Oxenford and Wongawallan.
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Holly and Dec are on stand-by to evacuate the set
I’m A Celebrity is filmed in Murwillumbah, which is on the border of Queensland and New South Wales, meaning if fires do move south in the coming days with more dry and warm weather, there could be problems.
A show source said: “We speak to the fire services regularly and we are also monitoring the bushfires today in Oxenford and Wongawallan.
“There is no immediate danger but the safety and the welfare of our cast and crew is our number one concern, and so we will continue to watch how the fires develop. We are really hoping they don’t get any closer to camp.”
In central Queensland, the fires destroyed homes and led to the evacuation of all 8,000 residents from the town of Gracemere – the first time this has happened in its 150-year history.
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ITV bosses are monitoring the bushfires as they sweep ever closer
The fire was also threatening the larger town of Rockhampton, which is about five miles away and has about 80,000 residents.
The Bureau of Meteorology declared a “catastrophic fire danger” in the region, the first time such a level has been applied in Queensland.
“This is unprecedented, uncharted, but we have a plan,” said Annastacia Palaszczuk, the head of government in the region.
“We expect to be in this heatwave at least until next Tuesday, so it is going to be very serious conditions from now until then.”
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Murwillumbah and the I’m A Celeb camp is 13km south of the Queensland border.
Despite ITV not currently planning action, it is understood well-prepared bosses have in place emergency procedures for all eventualities in case they have to evacuate camp during bush fires or if there is extreme flooding during storms.
The camp was evacuated in 2015 when bosses moved the celebs from the main camp to take shelter in the Bush Telegraph as thunder, lightning and torrential rain poured into the jungle.
*I’m A Celebrity continues tonight at 9pm on ITV
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