A fire that ripped through the top level of a Cairns quarantine hotel was deliberately lit, police allege, with a woman being charged.

A mother of two has been charged with starting a fire that gutted two rooms at the top of a quarantine hotel in Cairns.

No one was injured as the intense blaze broke out on the 11th storey of the Pacific Hotel Cairns on Sunday morning, with 163 people from 132 rooms evacuated within minutes.

Police have since arrested and charged a 31-year-old Manoora woman with arson and will allege she lit a fire under a bed in the room where she and her two children were quarantining.

Acting Chief Superintendent Chris Hodgman on Sunday said there had reportedly been “some issues” with the woman since she arrived in Queensland from Victoria on Friday.

He did not elaborate.

On Sunday the woman was in custody and her children were in police care as part of a “sensitive investigation”.

Meanwhile, the ABC reported that many of the quarantining guests were told they would now be flown thousands of kilometres away to complete their isolation period.

Displaced residents on Sunday were temporarily moved to another hotel in Cairns.