In the line of fire

Weather con­di­tions flame fires that have flared up in re­gion

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS - ❏ Erica Mur­ree

SMOUL­DER­ING fires, high tem­per­a­tures and chang­ing winds are a recipe for dis­as­ter. And this week things have been cook­ing.

Fire has ripped through prop­er­ties in the Biggen­den area.

Since Fri­day, landown­ers in the Boompa area have been work­ing late into the night to con­trol a fire that has al­ready de­stroyed 1000 acres on Mal­colm Beres­ford’s prop­erty.

Mr Beres­ford said the fire started from some­one burn­ing off af­ter the re­cent hail­storm.

“We tried to get help, but it wasn’t forth­com­ing, so the landown­ers and neigh­bours fought the fire our­selves,” he said.

“We would have lost ev­ery­thing if we hadn’t stopped it with fire­breaks.

“It’s been fright­en­ing, es­pe­cially Satur­day.

“I now know what the peo­ple of Vic­to­ria went through when flames start jump­ing 400m in one fell swoop and tops of trees ex­plode.”

Mr Beres­ford said on Tues­day night the fire had al­ready de­stroyed 4000–5000 acres.

He said a large por­tion of the burnt land was Forestry and Na­tional Park land which hadn’t burned since 1991.

Biggen­den’s Queens­land Fire and Res­cue also an­swered a 000 call last Fri­day to a grass­fire on the Isis Hwy be­tween Biggen­den and Coal­stoun Lakes where a landowner had been burn­ing weeds.

Queens­land Fire and Res­cue act­ing area di­rec­tor In­spec­tor Craig Mag­ick said crews re­sponded twice to the per­mit­ted burn.

He said with the high to se­vere fire dan­ger at present the com­mu­nity needed to be vig­i­lant.

And af­ter mop­ping up this fire the Coal­stoun Lakes Ru­ral Fire Bri­gade an­swered a call.

First of­fi­cer Mark Rack­e­mann said it was an old fire that flared up.

“It came from the Plum Creek di­rec­tion into the back of Coal­stoun Lakes, threat­en­ing the Sandy Creek and Doves Rd area,” he said.

“There was a fair bit of ac­tiv­ity over the three days, but Ge­off Cor­field did a mar­vel­lous job with his dozer putting in a 7.4km fire break.

“Ev­ery­one worked well to­gether to con­tain the fire that is still burn­ing in the hills.”

While oth­ers have lost a lot, Dar­ren Geissler is bring- ing in a dozer to push a 21km fire break from Lords Rd to Utopia to pro­tect his fam­ily prop­erty.

Mr Geissler said he ex­pected to lose at least 2000 acres from a fire head­ing his way from the Coon­garra Rock area.

“We can’t put the break around our boundary due to the rough­ness of the Mt Walsh ter­rain, but at least we can be pre­pared.

“It’s 12 years since a big fire came through so there is plenty of fuel on the ground.

“Rain is the only thing that will save us and the way the weather is that doesn’t look like hap­pen­ing.

“All I can say is that it is in­evitable.”

Biggen­den’s Queens­land Fire and Res­cue also an­swered a call at 1pm Tues­day to a bush­fire which started at the rub­bish dump be­tween Ara­mara and Brooweena on the Biggen­den-Mary­bor­ough Rd.

The fire is thought to be have been de­lib­er­ately lit and was threat­en­ing homes in the area.

The high­way was closed and the Biggen­den crew were part of seven ru­ral fire crews and two he­li­copters needed to fight the blaze.

BUSH­FIRE: Fire­fight­ers and land­hold­ers have been work­ing hard.

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