Gympie firefighters save houses, selves from raging bushfire
FOUR Gympie firefighters who were part of a 55 man team battling a raging bushfire at North Deep Creek last night saved two houses as they were surrounded by fire.
"The firefighters were actually cut off for a period of time while the head of the fire approached," Gympie station officer Justin Groth said of the dangerous circumstances.
"They stopped the fire from encroaching onto the houses and protected themselves," he said.
Residents of the area surrounding Gardners Rd were forced to leave their properties for several hours, Mr Groth said, after a fire broke out in the early afternoon.
They were told at 5.30pm conditions "could get worse quickly" and a bushfire survival plan should be followed.
Wind and tinder-dry conditions helped the bushfire rip through hundreds of acres of dense bushland to the east of Gympie, destroying two sheds in its path as it encroached on a macadamia nut farm and the fringes of the national park.
Urban and rural firefighters joined forces as crews from Cooran, Kilkivan and the greater Gympie region battled the blaze for hours, managing to contain it about 6.30pm.
"With these conditions and the winds yesterday afternoon, it was expected it was going to be a fast moving fire and hard to stop," Mr Groth said.
He said with continued dry, windy conditions over the next few days, he urged anyone to refrain from starting any fires or doing anything that may spark a fire.
He said a number of rural crews will be at the scene of the bushfire today to monitor it.