Crews on high alert
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.
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.
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.