Residents are being warned to listen to any advice issued by authorities about evacuating their homes, as bushfires are expected to burn in southern Queensland until next year.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service ordered the evacuation of the towns of Tara and Kogan on Tuesday, as fast-moving fires burning through the state’s southwest were elevated to emergency warning levels.

Two bodies have since been discovered since Monday, including a man’s body that was found near a dam on a property near Tara.

Queensland Police confirmed on Wednesday that officers had made the tragic discovery on Tuesday.

It’s understood the man had previously been reported missing.

Meanwhile, an elderly woman who went into cardiac arrest has also reportedly died while preparing to evacuate her property on Monday.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Inspector Warren Buckley warned residents to listen to any advice from authorities, as fire conditions could change at any moment.

“I’m not going to mince words here, it’s a dangerous fire,” Inspector Buckley said.

“People need to take heed of all the warnings that are currently out that way, whether they’re ‘leave now’, ‘leave immediately’ or whether it’s ‘not safe to return’.

“Please bear with us, we can’t have a fire truck on every corner, but please take care, make sure you heed all the warnings we’re putting through – remain, safe, look after each other and community.”

Inspector Buckley said multiple evacuation areas had been set up by the Western Downs Regional Council, and he expected more will open within the coming days.

“They will be expanded from Tara towards Chinchilla and Dalby,” he said.

“We are expanding those areas. Please keep up to date with all the messaging that we’re putting out and stay safe around those areas.

“In the Tara area at the moment, at this stage four houses have been lost and approximately one shed.”

It’s understood at least one home in Millmerran has been destroyed.

The total damage to property is yet to be assessed, as the surrounds remain too dangerous for authorities to access.

Inspector Buckley said crews were working hard to control multiple fire fronts despite difficult conditions.

“We have multiple teams from all over the southeast up to central Queensland assisting us with this particular fire,” he said.

“So, we’ve got temperatures in excess of 38-42 degrees currently out there (on Wednesday), relative humidity around about 15 per cent.

“It is very uncomfortable for our firefighting crews and also certainly very uncomfortable for residents hence our request for you to evacuate in those particular areas.

“The fire is rather erratic in behaviour.

“The fires at night with the current weather that we’re having are not dying down.

“They’re actually maintaining intensity and becoming erratic overnight as well, so there will be last-minute messaging.

“We ask people to maintain vigilance around that messaging and take the appropriate action by authorities.”

Inspector Buckley said he also warned residents to expect a lengthy bushfire season, with forecasts of more damaging fires in the new year.

“It will be a long campaign until we get some rain,” he said.

“This is going to go on for a long time. We’re planning for this to go on past Christmas and early next year.

“It will be a long campaign until we get some rain.”

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