Fire season arrives on Cooloola Coast

THE fire season has already hit the Gympie region, with rural crews kept busy since last week.

Fire broke out close to homes at Queen Elizabeth Dr at Cooloola Cove on Thursday, requiring two nights of back burning and containment. That was followed by a blaze at Camp Kerr training facility (pictured) at Tin Can Bay over the weekend.

Veteran Rural Fire Station First Officer Ted Uebergang said Cooloola Coast Rd was closed Saturday afternoon as nine rural fire crews fought fire with fire, back burning a 16km-long containment line. He said it was an indication of what was to come this fire season unless the region received well overdue rainfall.

Recent weather conditions meant the Gympie region was wildfire fire risk level two, he said.

"Wildfire level two is the most common level ... throughout the spring and summer seasons," Mr Uebergang said.

"(It) lets brigades know ...to be prepared ... as fire events are quite possible.

"For residents... this means when conducting a control burn that everyone adheres to the requirements of their fire permit.

"Our chances of rainfall are very bad at this stage, it is already tinder dry and forest fires will burn vigorously even through the night. We need to get some substantial storm rains but looking at the current SOI, this doesn't look promising."

Watch this video footage taken at the Camp Kerr blaze on Saturday by Mr Uebergang.

Gympie Times


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