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BURRUM BLAZE: 'It was really scary when it hit 4.30pm'

Monitoring of the Burrum Heads fire site continues - Ian Beattie Training and Support Officer Queensland Rural Fire Service Maryborough with Toogoom volunteers Barry Hamilton, Rosie Pittard, Jeff Smith and Carl Higgs.
Monitoring of the Burrum Heads fire site continues - Ian Beattie Training and Support Officer Queensland Rural Fire Service Maryborough with Toogoom volunteers Barry Hamilton, Rosie Pittard, Jeff Smith and Carl Higgs. Valerie Horton

TO BARRY Hamilton, fighting fires are "second nature” but the intensity of the Burrum Heads blaze was one which was undoubtedly fierce.

"The radiant heat was so hot (that) in a couple of seconds you had to back off or have a nice spray jet in front of you to keep you cool,” Mr Hamilton said.

"That's how bad it was. It was really scary when it hit 4.30pm.”

Mr Hamilton is a volunteer firefighter for the Toogoom Rural Fire Service brigade who worked with multiple crews to contain the blaze.

The Burrum Heads bushfire is the third fire in two weeks to threaten properties.

A fire in Craignish was the first to lose control on August 29 and on Sunday, a controlled burn turned out-of-control in Eli Waters.

"(At Eli Waters) we were in very heavy smoke and 10 minutes in you had to get relieved because the smoke was that high,” Mr Hamilton said.

"You come down (to Burrum Heads) and it's the other way round.”

About 2pm Monday, the blaze broke out and quickly lost control.

Monitoring of the Burrum Heads fire site continues - resident Ray Borg touched base with Ian Beattie Training and Support Officer Queensland Rural Fire Service Maryborough.
Monitoring of the Burrum Heads fire site continues - resident Ray Borg touched base with Ian Beattie Training and Support Officer Queensland Rural Fire Service Maryborough. Valerie Horton

Police officers were forced to close Burrum Heads Rd and Pialba Burrum Heads Rd as the smoke was far too thick and the fire had jumped the road.

Residents in Burrum Heads were issued a warning by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) to evacuate their properties.

Later in the evening the flames were brought under control but on Tuesday a small ember which travelled across a containment line ignited an unburned area of bushland sparking yet another warning. Sarah Borg's home was one of the many who were told to prepare to evacuate.

"We could hear the fire and we could see the flames so it was incredibly eerie,” Ms Borg said.

"We had firefighters (at the house) saying they were there to protect our property and they were there on Monday until 8pm and on Tuesday until around 4.30pm.”

Ms Borg said she felt reassured she was safe as soon as she heard water Bombers fly overhead.

"They used our dam to refill the helicopters with water,” she said.

The firefighters were treated to refreshments by Ms Borg who said she "couldn't say enough good things about (the rural firefighters”.

Crews worked overnight to ensure the blaze was kept under control and will continue throughout the day.

Monitoring of the Burrum Heads fire site continues - Toogoom Rural Fire Brigade.
Monitoring of the Burrum Heads fire site continues - Toogoom Rural Fire Brigade. Valerie Horton

Topics:  burrum heads bushfire qfes queensland rural fire service



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