Western Downs cattle property ravaged by massive bushfire

Western Downs cattle property ravaged by massive bushfire

03 October 2013

published by www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au

Australia —  WANDOAN grazier Shane Westman is hoping desperately for rain after a massive bushfire ripped across his property destroying cattle and kilometres of fencing.

Mr Westman guessed the fire destroyed up to 2830 hectares on his property 50km east of Wandoan, and about 10,100ha in total after it ignited last week, possibly from a dry storm lightning strike.

Neighbours pitched in with the Rural Fire Service to battle the blaze for 36 hours before it was finally brought under control.

“Neighbours from near and far turned up with graders and dozers to fight it,” Mr Westman said.

“Without that equipment I doubt we could have stopped it – it might have reached all the way to Chinchilla by now.

Mr Westman said strong winds made the fire impossible to control.

“We had firebreaks in place but the fire was jumping breaks and bitumen roads.”

“The whirly-winds carted the fire across our breaks and across bitumen roads – you had to see it to believe it.”

Mr Westman said rain was desperately needed to extinguish smouldering logs, reduce the dry fuel load and to promote regrowth on charred pastures.

“At the moment we’re just looking to the skies,” he said.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe fire danger warning for the Maranoa, Warrego and western Darling Downs districts this week.

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