Firefighters backburning, waterbombing forest fire

UPDATE 12:20pm: FIREFIGHTERS are backburning around the site of a large vegetation fire at Wondai which broke out yesterday. 

Queensland Fire and Emergency Service crews have been joined by Queensland Parks and WIldlife Service and HQ Plantations fire crews as well in an effort to contain the blaze. 

A helicopter has also been used to water bomb the area. 

Residents are still being advised to keep doors and windows closed, with smoke potentially affecting the Sunshine Coast area including the Hinterland and surrounding suburbs. 

UPDATE 10:04am: SEVEN crews are continuing to keep watch at the large vegetation fire at Wondai which broke out yesterday. 

Motorists and residents have been advised to avoid the area on Cherbourg Rd, due to poor visibility and an abundance of smoke. 

Elsewhere across the region, hot and dry conditions have resulted in a number of flareups. 

Fire crews continue to monitor bllazes at the Imbil State Forest,  and Harvey Siding Rd in Curra. 

Residents nearby have been advised to keep doors and windows closed, however there appears to be no immediate danger to property at this time. 

EARLIER: Monday

FIREFIGHTERS are keeping watch over a blaze at Wondai after the fire broke out yesterday. 

Multiple Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews are at the vegetation fire burning in the Wondai State Forest this morning. 

A QFES spokeswoman said as of 11am, fire crews were monitoring the situation.

She said the fire posed no threat to property at this time. 

QFES has issued advice for residents in Wondai, Cherbourg and surrounds:

  • Smoke is expected to affect Cherbourg and surrounding areas.
  • Residents should close windows and doors and keep medications close by if suffering from a respiratory condition.
  • Motorists should drive with caution and to conditions.
  • If residents feel their property is under threat, they should call Triple Zero (000) immediately. 

Meanwhile, Queensland Parks and Wildlife officers are still monitoring a vegetation fire on Harvey Siding Rd at Curra that has been burning since last Thursday.

While the fire danger has dropped since last week's severe rating, the Wide Bay and Burnett region will still remain in the very high fire danger category today and tomorrow. 

The Rural Fire Service (RFS) is urging Queensland residents to be vigilant with heightened fire conditions predicted today and in coming days.

RFS Assistant Commissioner Tom Dawson said although parts of the state received some rain on the weekend, this only temporarily relieved the fire danger across the majority of the state.

"Residents should take extra care and be alert today and in coming days as weather conditions change which could create potentially dangerous fire conditions," Mr Dawson said.

"Under these conditions, unattended or mismanaged fires may create sparks and cause fires to spread quickly, so we're asking residents to be on the lookout and report any vegetation fires to Triple Zero (000) immediately.

"The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Fire Investigation Unit and Queensland Police Service Arson Squad will be monitoring all fire developments to determine if any criminal or negligent actions are occurring."

Mr Dawson said that landowners should consult with their local fire warden before lighting fires on their property in the next few days.

"Before lighting a fire on your property, contact your local fire warden to ensure conditions are suitable", he said.

Landowners who had conducted hazard reduction burns recently were strongly encouraged to take immediate steps to ensure their fire had been properly extinguished.


"Landowners who have conducted burns must make sure residual fires are contained so that they will not escape," Mr Dawson said. 

Mr Dawson said with fire activity ramping up across the majority of the state, it was crucial for residents to prepare their homes and properties.

"If they haven't already, I urge residents to finalise their preparations and visit the RFS website to download a Bushfire Survival Plan, so that no one is caught off guard," he said.

"If your plan is to leave, ensure you have enough time to leave safely and allow for congested roads and low visibility as a result of the bushfire.

"People should never throw cigarette butts out of the car window and always be careful when operating machinery in grassed areas."

Further information on bushfire preparation can be found at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au

Gympie Times


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