ONE Fraser Island fisherman has captured the moment he and his friends came face-to-face with the bush fire which has ravaged the island for the past six weeks.

Chris Merrison and his friend Josh Hobbs returned to Hervey Bay on the Fraser Venture barge around 1:15pm on Monday and spoke to the Chronicle.

"We could hear the roar of the fire between the crashing of the waves … we heard the bush crackle and pop," he said.

"It was surreal to hear the bush alight."

(L) Josh Hobbs and Chris Merrison. Photo: Stuart Fast
(L) Josh Hobbs and Chris Merrison. Photo: Stuart Fast

The men had been with their friends on a fishing trip to the island, and while they planned on returning on Monday, they both agreed they were lucky to come back when the did given the fire conditions.

Mr Merrison said the wind picked up on the eastern side of the island over the weekend, causing conditions to worsen.

Mr Hobbs agreed the fire had become worse.

"We smelled smoke, there was ash falling, we knew it was going to get worse," Mr Hobbs said.

"It was a bit of a shock at first to see ash fall … we realised the gravity of the situation when we saw it (the fire) up close," Mr Hobbs said.

Black smoke rises over Fraser Island. Photo: Stuart Fast
Black smoke rises over Fraser Island. Photo: Stuart Fast

When asked whether the fire would deter future visits, both Mr Merrison and Mr Hobbs said they would visit Fraser Island next year.


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