Hectic start to Queensland’s fire season

29/06/2019 // by admin

QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll says about 800 bushfires have ignited across Qld since Wednesday.Queensland’s fire season is off to a hectic start with fire fighters forced to contend with 800 bushfires in less than a week.

On Monday, authorities downgraded advice for residents living near a large blaze north of Townsville.

Residents of Crystal Creek and nearby Mutarnee had been told to prepare to flee amid fears homes could be affected. But the threat has eased and authorities say there’s now no risk to property.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Katarina Carroll said about 800 bushfires have been reported across the state since since Wednesday.

They include more than 290 reported in the 24 hours to 8am on Monday.

“We are expecting bushfire activity to remain high over the coming days and it is imperative the public remain up-to-date and follow all instructions,” she warned in a statement.

A very high fire danger rating remains in place for much of Queensland with strong westerly winds expected to continue for much of the week.

QFES Superintendent Gary McCormack said some property had been lost in scores of fires that burned over the weekend, but so far no homes appear to have been destroyed.

“We did lose some structures, mainly sheds. We have lost a few caravans and some vehicles as well,” he told ABC television on Monday.

“We need to get in and assess the degree of damage.”

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said the state’s fire season, which is only 20 days old, was off to a very challenging start.

He warned that would continue in the weeks and months ahead, with fuel loads high and soil moisture low amid drought conditions across much of Queensland.

Meanwhile police have charged a man with arson over nine blazes lit in the Kingaroy area over the past two weeks.

It’s alleged the 26-year-old lit the fires on vacant land and while nothing was damaged the flames came close to surrounding property and fences. He’s due in court next month.

Australian Associated Press

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