Fire’s unsung heroes
RESIDENTS living in Koah and the surrounding area have come together to thank emergency services and volunteers for protecting their homes and community during a largescale vegetation fire.
The blaze broke out at Koah on December 3 and moved towards the Clohesy River area earlier this week.
Between 700-800 acres were burnt by the fire, which was extinguished on Wednesday afternoon.
Residents held a ‘thank you’ dinner for emergency services and volunteers at the Koah Hall on Wednesday night.
“A few of us got together and decided to hold the dinner as a thankyou to those that have helped protect our properties and keep the community safe,” Speewah resident Joelle Verfurth said.
Ms Verfurth runs a horse riding school in Speewah.
She said while her property wasn’t affected by the blaze, her family had evacuation plans in place.
“We could see the smoke and fire, it didn’t come in our direction but you never know when things can change,” she said.
“We had plans in place to go and move the horses if we needed to, it’s always good to have a plan in place.
“Monday was the most worrisome day that we had but they got onto it really quickly.”
“It’s so dry and there’s so much fuel around at the moment,” Ms Verfurth said.
Incident Controller Paul Durston said rural fire crews, State Emergency Service and Fire and Rescue crews had worked together to control the blaze.
He said aircraft were also used for mapping of the fire and for water bombing.
Mr Durston said the initial cause of the fire was still unknown and an investigation process with fire investigation and QPS had begun.
Crews had managed to protect 10 properties from the blaze and no one was injured.
One caravan and a vehicle were reported to have been burnt.
Koah Hall president Marc Jaschok said the hall had been open to emergency services and anyone that needed a place to evacuate.
“The hall recently had upgrades so it can now be used as a place of refuge,” he said.
“We offered the hall to fire fighters and it can be used if anyone is displaced.”
Speewah and Koah residents Amanda Purkiss, Didi La Baysse, Sophie McGrath, Leslie Cappelletto, Oliver Verfurth, 3, Jayden Rose, Joelle Verfurth and Marc Jaschok have thanked all the emergency services and volunteers that help protect their community from a large-scale fire. Picture: Andrea Falvo