Ev­ery­day hero helps stop fire be­fore brigade ar­rives

Central Queensland News - - FRONT PAGE - Aden Stokes Aden.Stokes@cqnews.com.au

IF IT weren’t for the hero­ics of an anony­mous gem miner, a Sap­phire bush­fire could have sparked tragedy for lo­cal res­i­dents.

About noon on Mon­day, Gem­fields Ru­ral Fire Brigade re­ceived re­ports of a fire in the vicin­ity of Ri­fle Range Rd and Hill­top Rd in Sap­phire.

Sap­phire Gem­fields res­i­dent Sin­clair Old­field said she no­ticed the smoke on her way from vis­it­ing a friend.

“I was clos­ing the back gate when I no­ticed the fire, so I grabbed my cam­era and jumped in the car – I love my pho­tog­ra­phy,” she said.

“It was less than a quar­ter of a kilo­me­tre away. When I pulled up there was a gen­tle­man (who wishes to re­main anony­mous) there stop­ping the fire from jump­ing the road and reach­ing the houses.

“That gen­tle­men was the first one to come across the fire and knew some­thing had to be done.

“The Ru­ral Fire Brigade turned up shortly af­ter, raced in and took over. They are all he­roes.”

Anakie Po­lice Sta­tion of­fi­cer in charge Sergeant Paul Cognet said the fire de­stroyed nearby grass and bush­land, con­sum­ing an area of al­most 2ha, and was even­tu­ally con­tained and ex­tin­guished by mem­bers of the Ru­ral Fire Brigade, with as­sis­tance from sev­eral mem­bers of the pub­lic.

“Queens­land po­lice were called to as­sist in de­ter­min­ing the cause of the fire,” Sgt Cognet said.

“Po­lice iden­ti­fied a lo­cal res­i­dent who had been burn­ing waste ma­te­ri­als on a min­ing claim. In­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed that this fire spread away from the claim due to high winds.

“Although the res­i­dent had taken some pre­cau­tions to pre­vent the spread of fire, they were in­suf­fi­cient.”

Sgt Cognet wants to re­mind Gem­fields res­i­dents they are re­spon­si­ble for any fires they start.

“The light­ing of fires with­out a per­mit is not only a pub­lic safety is­sue but also a crim­i­nal of­fence,” he said.

“In­di­vid­u­als who com­mit of­fences by fail­ing to ob­tain per­mits may face crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion.”


WELL DONE: The anony­mous man walks away af­ter help­ing to stop the spread of a fire around Ri­fle Range Rd and Hill­top Rd in Sap­phire on Mon­day.

The Gem­fields Ru­ral Fire Brigade ar­rives on the scene to ex­tin­guish the fire.

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