Crews on high alert

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

THE hand­ful of crews driv­ing up and down Coonarr Beach Rd on Mon­day morn­ing were only sup­posed to be mon­i­tor­ing what re­mained of the week­end’s blaze.

In­stead by 9am they were thrust into ac­tion as sev­eral fire flared up for the third con­sec­u­tive time.

Crews from Coonarr, Bund­aberg, Bingera Weir and Good­wood tack­led the blaze on Mon­day, with Good­wood Fire Bri­gade al­low­ing me the chance to jump on board.

It was one thing to shoot a fire from a rel­a­tively safe dis­tance where you are “in con­trol” and have a clear way out.

It is another to be on the ground and keep­ing watch for fires to flare up.

As Good­wood 61 re­versed down the fire trail on the western edge of the con­tain­ment area, ev­ery­thing seemed to change.

The sky changed colour thanks to the in­tense smoke and the tem­per­a­ture in­creased as flames pro­duced heated air.

We were at the end of the fire trail when the high­est flame ap­peared, shoot­ing up a tree and across the trail to ig­nite fo­liage on the other side.

A sup­port­ing crew jumped on it as soon as they could so as not to breach con­tain­ment lines, while two more drove down the trail to tackle the blaze.

This was Good­wood 61’s third day at the Coonarr fire.

On Satur­day they were called out mid-af­ter­noon and didn’t re­turn to base un­til about mid­night after a three-ve­hi­cle crash closed Good­wood Rd.

Sun­day saw the crew re­join ef­forts for a 14-hour ef­fort, with air support called in to help con­tain the blaze which thrived in the con­di­tions.

The vol­un­teers’ ef­fort was praised by Ru­ral Fire Ser­vices Queens­land bush­fire and safety of­fi­cer Joe Cullen, who ap­pealed for more peo­ple to join.

“We man­aged to ro­tate the crews but they were the same faces re­turn­ing ev­ery day,” Mr Cullen said.

■ For more in­for­ma­tion or to join RFSQ, go to www.ru­ral­fire.qld.gov.au or con­tact your lo­cal bri­gade.

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

HARD AT WORK: Fires flare up while on board with Good­wood Fire Bri­gade. THE pre­dicted heat­wave al­ready had fire­fight­ing vol­un­teers ready to go, but no­body could have pre­dicted how long they would be on the front line.

Fire­fight­ers from Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice Queens­land brigades in Good­wood, Woodgate and Childers joined forces with crews from across the North Coast to bat­tle sev­eral blazes last week­end.

From Satur­day to Mon­day it was fires at Mead­ow­vale and Coonarr, the lat­ter of which burnt out up­wards of 150 hectares.

Tues­day, it was a smaller fire at Eureka about 5km past Ap­ple Tree Creek that saw at least four lo­cal trucks de­voted to its con­trol.

PHO­TOS: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

IT’S NOT EASY: Good­wood Fire Bri­gade work to change a flat tyre at the fire at Coonarr on Mon­day.

The fire at Coonarr Rd, Coonarr.

Fires flare up while on board with Good­wood Fire Bri­gade.

He­li­copters hit the Coonarr fire from the air.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.