Authorities are hoping forecast rain will help ease a fire burning in the Gaeta region, west of Bundaberg in southern Queensland. The fire has burnt more than 350 square kilometres, but is now burning within containment lines. The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting rain and isolated storms in the Burnett region this afternoon. The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) is hoping to reduce the number of firefighters on the front line at Gaeta as early as tomorrow.
QFRS incident controller Andrew Short says 60 firefighters are constantly on duty. "The fire's now well contained through that northern sector, or northern part of that Gaeta fire," he said. "We've still got [a] couple of areas down the south-west corner, in the Bania State Forest, which we're still spending a bit of time on, but we're not deeming it of being any risk. "It's just a case where we've got a lot of people on the ground and now we're just trying to get in a position that by tomorrow we could reduce the number of people out there." He says rain would provide much-needed relief.
"The focus today is just to consolidate everything is done and to make use of any light rain that comes through - if it comes through," he said. "We've been very fortunate ... wind conditions have stayed stable for us, with the wind being generally kind apart from some gusting yesterday."
Meanwhile, firefighters contained two fires which started yesterday in the state's south-east. Large grass fires broke out after midday (AEST) on Sunday at Bundaberg and at Ross Creek near Gympie in the state's south-east, but they are now under control.
In central Queensland, Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter is warning residents not to become complacent about fire plans as the fire threat eases. A fire at Mount Archer on Rockhampton's outskirts which destroyed a house and threatened about 100 others last week has been contained. But Councillor Carter says the region will continue to face a high fire danger until the area gets significant rain. "Individuals have to take responsibility for their own wellbeing," he said. "You cannot expect that if a situation escalates that there will be a fire man on your doorstep in the worst case scenario. "You need to be very prepared to take measures to look after yourself and even though things have eased, don't become complacent, be very vigilant until we get some decent rain."
The Rockhampton Regional Council held barbeques yesterday for residents of fire affected suburbs. Resident Neil Fisher from Lakes Creek says it gave people a chance to talk about their experience."I think it's very, very important now that anybody who had experienced the fires very close to their home to have a chance to talk with one another and I think that's what Sunday achieved," he said.
Â© ABC News | Gewijzigd: 21 april 2017, 16:39 uur, door Joyce.s