Fire threat eases but conditions ‘unfavourable’

Fire threat eases but conditions ‘unfavourable’  

04 October 2011

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Australia — Firefighters across Queensland are bracing for another day of blustery conditions as dozens of bushfires continue to burn across the state.

Crews are back at work this morning battling fires around Gladstone in central Queensland, near Mackay and in the Atherton Tablelands in the far north.

Superintendent Ian Thomas from the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) says unfavourable weather conditions look set to continue.

“The strong winds have been causing us problems over the last couple of weeks, with dry conditions and no rainfall forecast for several weeks,” Mr Thomas said.

“We have to make sure these fires are contained and they don’t spread.”

An incident control centre at Ravenshoe is coordinating the response to three large fires in the Tablelands region.

The QFRS says crews spent the night patrolling fires at Tumoulin, Millstream and Wondecla which are under control.

Residents in Pikes Road at Mareeba have been asked to have fire plans in place.

New fires broke out at Koah, Georgetown and north of Cardwell overnight and they are being monitored.

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) is watching fires south of Tully and on the Gillies Range, where back-burning will resume today.

Further south, fires are burning at Collinsville west of Prosperpine and at Narpi north of Mackay.

The QFRS says no homes are under threat and a fire spotter aircraft will patrol the area later today.

Meanwhile, a number of roads remain closed on Fraser Island off the south-east Queensland coast following a large bushfire yesterday.

Parts of the Kingfisher Bay resort on the island were evacuated, and one guest was treated for smoke inhalation.

The fire is now under control and being monitored by QPWS officers.

Fire officials say volunteers and landowners have played a crucial role in helping to contain a number of blazes across the state.

Mr Thomas says community support continues to be vital.

“It’s a credit to these volunteers,” he said.

“They’ve given up their weekends and days to actually try and help the community and also land owners have done a lot of work too with preparing fire trails and using earth moving machinery and their own crews to try and protect fire on their properties.

“Very much a combined effort by a lot of the community to try and contain these blazes.”

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