HEROES SAVE THE DAY
Everyday hero helps stop fire before brigade arrives
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.