Storm con­firms need for fire­fight­ers

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

A CLOSE en­counter with a con­trolled burn has high­lighted why they are so im­por­tant.

Eidsvold ru­ral fire­fight­ers strug­gled to con­tain a con­trolled burn close to the cen­tre of town last week.

“There was a firestorm in­side the fire... and that was not ex­pected,” lo­cal vol­un­teer fire­fighter Robert Cooper said.

Mr Cooper said a firestorm was a whirl­wind in­side the fire that cre­ated heat so in­tense it lifted em­bers into the sky and spread fires quickly.

“If that re­duc­tion burn had not have been com­pleted and that area went up on a hot day, we would not have been able to stop it,” Mr Cooper said.

Re­duc­tion burn­ing of grass around homes was im­por­tant for the safety of people and property at Eidsvold, he said.

“We try to burn when winds are blow­ing smoke away from houses and build­ings, but this is not al­ways pos­si­ble,” he said.

Mr Cooper said the bri­gade’s lo­cal knowl­edge and knowl­edge of fire be­hav­iour and preven­tion en­sured the com­mu­nity re­ceived spe­cialised ser­vice at all times.

The fire­fight­ers are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

They hold reg­u­lar jobs within the com­mu­nity, such as farm­ers, tradies, teach­ers, truck driv­ers and nurses, and carry a pager, “down­ing tools” when QFRS re­ceives a 000 call.

PHOTO: NOEL THOMP­SON

RED HOT: A con­trolled burn-off at Eidsvold be­came dan­ger­ous when firestorm de­vel­oped in­side the fire.

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