A rural fire brigade unit battles against dry grass fuelling fires at Maryborough’s southern outskirts on Saturday.
A rural fire brigade unit battles against dry grass fuelling fires at Maryborough’s southern outskirts on Saturday. Valerie Horton

Blown tyre sparks seven fires

A TANDEM trailer that blew a tyre is believed to be the cause of seven fires that police originally thought had been deliberately lit.

The fires threatened properties and livestock in Maryborough’s southern outskirts on Saturday.

They were caused by sparks that flew from the steel rim of a tandem trailer that had blown a tyre, igniting the dry bushland in the surrounding area.

The fires became three main fire fronts and 12 rural fire brigades and a helicopter were called to battle the blaze, which started about 11.10am.

Maryborough station officer Dennis Pamenter said dry conditions contributed to flare-ups.

One section of the fire ran from the Bruce Highway in Eatonvale to the Mary River and threatened a home in that area.

“There were a couple of homes we were worried about,” Mr Pamenter said.

Electricity was also cut when the fires burnt through power lines. Workers strived on Saturday to restore power to the affected areas.

The highway was closed from 11.25am to about 1pm as firefighters battled the blaze.
 
Sue and Merv Flavel described the fire as the worst they had seen in 28 years of living in Central Road, Tinana.

The residents did what they could to defend their homes and livestock from the fires.

Sue moved her shetland ponies to the back of her house and opened her paddock so that neighbouring horses could take shelter.

Mr Pamenter said the ease with which the fire started should serve as a warning to Fraser Coast residents.

“People should make sure they check if fire bans are in place. Fire bans are in place at the moment.

“People need to ensure no fires are being lit. No one should be lighting any type of fires at all.”

The fires were brought under control about 2pm. Yesterday they were still smouldering with fire crews monitoring the area.

Keep up-to-date with the weather forecast for Hervey Bay.
Related: Qld bushfire safety tips.

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