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UPDATE: Firies faced winds of 40km/h in battle against blaze

Photos showing the backburning effort at Calavos on Monday.
Photos showing the backburning effort at Calavos on Monday.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 11AM: The hard work of firefighters has brought a blaze near Calavos under control.

As of Wednesday morning, three crews were still patrolling the area around Fallons Rocks and Dahls Rds, but with the hard work of firies and some "nice cloud cover" it looked like the fierce bushfire had been contained.

Bundaberg Rural Fire Service area training and support officer Phil Williams said crews had stopped water bombing.

"It's been a long, drawn out success, but the volunteers have been working around the clock," he said.

"The crews did well."

Mr Williams said there was still a chance of some smoke as the last of the fire smouldered.

He said on Monday, volunteers had been faced with winds of up to 40km/h.

UPDATE TUESDAY 1.30PM: A Calavos woman had been preparing to buy more cattle thanks to the lush greenery on her property, but now, she's being forced to sell them because she won't be able to afford to keep them fed.

Pauline Crossett's Tarrants Rd cattle property resembled a bleak image of its former self after bushfires tore through it on Monday.

"We've got a cattle property and it's improved pastures and part bush," she said.

"We had eight big cattle that we were able to get out just in time."

Mrs Crossett who lives on a separate property in Calavos, described it as a "pretty traumatic time".

"We've lost all of our feed for our animals and we'll have to sell them as soon as possible as we can't afford to buy more food for them," she said.

"Friends of ours have packed up and are ready to leave."

Mrs Crossett said she had never experienced the consequences of a bushfire and hoped she never would again.

But she also said it was reassuring knowing so many people in the community were there to help.

"Originally we were told that we had lost our sheds," Mrs Crossett said.

"But the water bombers came and saved our sheds.

"We've still got the sheds, we've still got the machinery and we've still got the animals."

Mrs Crossett said she was especially thankful to rural firefighters.

"We never got to thank the rural firefighters who helped us - two men from the Burnett Heads Rural Fire Service who provided us with lots of emotional support and helped us get our animals out," she said.

The kindness didn't stop there.

"Someone last night brought us some hay for our animals," Mrs Crossett said.

"A man we bought hay off just gave us the hay cheaper."

UPDATE 11AM: With fast-moving embers and a need to act quickly, rural fire crews are urging anyone who doesn't need to be in the area of current bushfires to keep a distance. 

Rural Fire Service Bundaberg area director Bruce Thompson said firies were mindful of the possible dangers associated with sightseeing where crews were trying to contain a blaze. 

"Please stay away so you don't get in the way of firefighters," Mr Thompson said. 

"We have concerns for the safety of the general public and the fire crews.

"It's just something we're mindful of."

Pauline Crossett shares photos of the damage done to her property by the blaze.
Pauline Crossett shares photos of the damage done to her property by the blaze.

Mr Thompson said crews were still working to contain the blaze around Dahls Rd and Fallons Rocks Rd with five crews on scene and helicopters carrying out water bombing.

"We had the helicopters stay overnight so we could engage them early this morning before conditions heated up," he said. 

Mr Thompson said today's conditions were similar to yesterday's with gusty and strong variable winds.

Pauline Crossett shares photos of the damage done to her property by the blaze.
Pauline Crossett shares photos of the damage done to her property by the blaze.

He said crews were managing to keep it contained but also monitoring nearby homes. 

Mr Thompson said the fire was burning towards Dahls Rd. 

UPDATE 9.20AM: The Calavos Rural Fire Brigade has shared images of the fire that threatened areas south of Bundaberg on Monday. 

On Facebook, the firies explained the photos were showing backburning that was carried out with Branyan firies. 

UPDATE TUESDAY 6.30AM: As of 7pm Monday, multiple Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews remained on scene at a bushfire burning near Fallons Rock Road, Tarrants Road, Dahls Road and Palm Springs Drive, Calavos (south of Bundaberg).

Fire crews worked to contain the blaze by strengthening control lines and backburning.

The threat to homes abated on Monday night as firefighters remained on scene overnight.

Smoke is currently affecting the Bundaberg area and residents are asked to stay up to date with warnings and monitor conditions.

Residents are advised to close windows and doors and keep medications close by if suffering from a respiratory condition.

The Calavos area fire on Monday afternoon.
The Calavos area fire on Monday afternoon.

Motorists should drive with caution and to conditions. Residents should call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

On Monday afternoon, Calavos man Jon McPherson described the fire as frightening.

"It's scary, about an hour or so ago the smoke was so thick, it was very hard to breathe," he said about 4pm Monday.

"We packed our personal things into our cars, like photos and other items.

" It's the weirdest feeling seeing and smelling the smoke from the fire."

Mr McPherson said it was a surreal experience.

"I've been wetting down the lawn and could feel the heat from the fire," he said.

"I think that scared me more."

He said through the ordeal, he'd felt comforted by the presence of emergency crews.

"Not too long ago the water bomber started flying over," he said.

"It made me really appreciate having emergency services.

"I feel on edge, I'm worried about my home and other homes in this area."

Mr McPherson was later able to return to his home. 

3.20PM: The fire is believed to be in the vicinity of houses, farm sheds and greenhouses. 

3PM: According to a witness at the scene, the fire is in two locations on both sides of Fallon Rocks Road.

2PM: Queensland  Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is advising residents in the vicinity of Calavos (south of Bundaberg) to enact their bushfire plan.

At 1.45pm Monday, November a large bushfire was located at Calavos.

The large, fast moving, fire is travelling in a north-westerly direction and is expected to impact the areas of Fallons Rock Road, Tarrants Road, Dahls Road and Palm Springs Drive around 2.30pm - 3.30pm.

This fire is moving quickly and firefighters are experiencing difficulty in controlling it.

Spot fires may occur ahead of the fire front and embers are also being thrown from the fire.

Pauline Crossett shared this photo of Fallons Rocks with the NewsMail.
Pauline Crossett shared this photo of Fallons Rocks with the NewsMail. Pauline Crossett

The fire is expected to impact on the Calavos community and there is a chance that some property may be lost. Power, water and mobile phone supplies may be lost in the area over the next several hours.

Fire threatens a structure at Calavos.
Fire threatens a structure at Calavos.

It will be very hot and windy and as the fire approaches it may become increasingly difficult to see, hear or breathe.
Residents are strongly advised to leave now if their plan is to do so or if they don't have a plan. Leaving is the safest option for survival.

The bushfire near Calavos.
The bushfire near Calavos.

Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable.

Currently, nine fire crews are working to contain the blaze but firefighters will not be able to protect every affected property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

Residents should consider taking precautionary measures including:

- Putting on protective clothing;
- Drinking lots of water;
- Moving car/s to a safe location;
- Closing windows and doors and shutting blinds;
- Bringing pets inside, restraining them (leash, cage or secure room) and providing water;
- Wetting down fine fuels close to buildings;
- Removing garden furniture, doormats and other items;
- Sealing all gaps under doors and screens;
- Filling containers with water - eg bath, sinks, buckets, wheelie bins;
- Having ladders ready for roof space access (inside) and against roof (outside);
- Having a generator or petrol powered pump ready; and
- Checking and patrolling outside for embers, extinguishing any spot fires and seeking shelter as the fire front arrives.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if they believe their property comes under threat.

Regular updated information will be provided on the Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFS) website at https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au or listen to local radio.

For information on current bushfire incidents visit https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map.

There are three levels of bushfire warning: 

  • Advice: Monitor conditions and review your bushfire survival plan.
  • Watch and Act: Conditions are changing. Start taking action and follow your bushfire survival plan.
  • Emergency Warning: You are in danger. Act on your bushfire survival plan now.
     

EARLIER: Six Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews were on scene at a large vegetation fire burning in the vicinity of Fallons Rocks Rd and Doctor Mays Crossing Rd, Calavos (south of Bundaberg) on Sunday night.

Firefighters said the blaze broke out earlier in the day.

As of Sunday night, there was no threat to property at this time.

Smoke may affect Calavos and surrounding areas into Monday.

Residents in the area are advised to close windows and doors, and keep medications close by if suffering a respiratory condition. Motorists should drive with caution and to conditions.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

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