Fires wipe out 350 hectares
FIRE has wreaked havoc across the Fraser Coast with one blaze burning a total of 200 hectares and another taking out 150 hectares.
The fire that started on Thomas Street at Howard on Sunday flared up again at about 11.30am yesterday and eventually jumped the Bruce Highway into grassland and a lightly wooden area.
A water bombing aircraft and fire fighters managed to contain the blaze at Howard Heights Road before any properties came under threat.
Deputy operations officer for the Howard fire brigade Matt Poole said the blaze had calmed down by 5pm although 200 hectares had been destroyed.
“It basically duplicated itself on the other side of the highway,” Mr Poole said, after about 50 hectares was burnt on Sunday.
Smoke was so bad the Bruce Highway was closed in both directions for about an hour and a half.
Investigations are still underway into how the fire was sparked although it is believed to have been caused by a chainsaw used by a resident.
Another 150 hectares was blackened by a fire that started at Takura about 12.30pm when a contractor slasher set off sparks along Torbanlea-Pialba Road.
Thirty-eight fire fighters from 10 rural brigades and one urban fought the flames, along with two crews from the Department of Natural Resources. A hired water tanker with 9000-litre capacity was also used.
Flames threatened Kopper Wood Products while black and brown smoke could be seen billowing above trees from Pialba.
By late yesterday the fire had not been contained, however Hervey Bay Rural Fire Brigade group officer Don Duffus said efforts would continue overnight to keep it within surrounding roads and forestry tracks including Mungomery Road to the north.
Mr Duffus said the temperature reached 32 degrees and humidity 50 per cent. Winds were 12kmh north-westerly switching to north-easterly and increasing to 16kmh in the afternoon.
Fire fighters south of Childers were also kept busy yesterday battling a blaze at Redridge that broke out in grassland at about 2pm. Back burning was carried out and a helicopter used for water bombing. Two small sheds were destroyed.
Fire bans have been extended across the state as the QFRS predicts high to extreme conditions this week. To stay updated on the fires you can log on to www.fire.qld.gov.au.