Four hundred Queenslanders told it's too late to leave as bushfires rage

Four hundred people living on Queensland's southern border were told it was too late to leave as bushfires bore down on their small town.

Instead, they had to find safety where they could, hoping firefighters could stop the flames from reaching them.

It was a tense afternoon for Australian firefighters.

At a time most people run for their lives, firefighters risk their own by running towards the flames.

They reach for the hose - it’s all they have to fight back.

Plus, their body cameras captured it all. 

But when it gets too dangerous, the drive to safety is just as risky.

Out-of-control flames moving at frightening speed - it's hard to watch.

The fire formed a ring and closed in on the town of Wallangarra. 

"The situation outside is f**ked, pretty scary. I'm safe where I am, so I'm just closing the shop. My eyes are f**king stinging," said one local woman.

After fighting off flames for as long as they could, locals fled to whatever safety they could find.

But it was too late to leave - instead they were told to stay and find shelter to survive.

"It’s everywhere I look. I've got friends and we can’t split ourselves to help everybody out," said another woman trapped by the flames.

But with some hope and luck, "the fire is now going around the town, so the town has been saved," said Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Four hundred live here. They’ve endured bushfires before, but never like this. 

"I think this is the first time I've been afraid for my life and my house," one woman said. 

Cooler temperatures today have brought some relief, but it’s an ominous start to the fire season one month out from summer.