Tony Malferrari shared this image of a waterbombing plane fighting the Birnam fire.
Tony Malferrari shared this image of a waterbombing plane fighting the Birnam fire. Tony Malferrari

Road reopens as Birnam fire continues to burn

MONDAY, 3.10PM: Toowoomba Regional Council has advised that Old Goombungee Road has now reopened to traffic.

Drivers are asked to proceed with caution and follow the instructions of road maintenance staff while smoke remains in the area.

MONDAY, 3PM: A prepare to leave notice is still in place for residents near a fire burning north of Toowoomba.

Currently as at 2.30pm the fire is burning near Old Goombungee Road, Birnam.

The fire is travelling east towards the Toowoomba Bypass.

Fire crews are working with water bombing aircraft to contain the fire but firefighters may not be able to protect every property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door.

People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality.

Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you believe your property is under threat.
 

MONDAY, 1.30PM: Old Gombungee Rd has been closed to motorists near Birnam as a bushfire continues to burn in the area.

The Toowoomba Regional Council has also evacuated the Mount Kynoch Water Treatment Plant.

A council spokesman said contingency plans were in place to keep supplying water to the area and the evacuation was not expected to have an issue on supply.

About 300 homes Between Birnam, Gowrie Junction, Cranley and Toowoomba are without power because of the fire.

About 19 fire crews, plus water bombing aircraft, are currently fighting the out of control blaze at Birnam.

The Birnam fire.
The Birnam fire. Kevin Farmer

MONDAY, 12.45PM: Residents at Birnam, north of Toowoomba, have been told to prepare to leave as a bushfire threatens the area.  

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services  advises there is a bushfire in Birnam and conditions could get worse. 

"Currently as at 12.40pm Monday 2 December a fire is burning near Old Goombungee Road, Birnam. The fire is travelling east towards the Toowoomba Bypass," QFES says.  

The Birnam fire.
The Birnam fire. Kevin Farmer

"Fire crews are working with water bombing aircraft to contain the fire but firefighters may not be able to protect every property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door.  

"People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality. 

"Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you believe your property is under threat."  

The next update will be provided by 2.40pm or if the situation changes.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

  • Listen to your local radio station or visit the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website for regular updates.
  • If you have a bushfire survival plan, finalise it now so you are ready to follow it.
  • If you do not have a bushfire survival plan, or if your plan is to leave, identify where you will go if you leave the area.
  • Advise family and friends of your plan.
  • Close windows and doors to minimise smoke exposure.
  • If you suffer from a respiratory condition, keep your medication close by.
  • Drive with caution in low visibility conditions.
  • Contact your neighbours to see if they need help preparing for the bushfire.
  • Pack important documents and essential items (e.g., passports, birth certificates, prescription medication, food and water, and protective clothing) in case you need to leave the area.
  • Put on protective clothing (e.g., a long-sleeved cotton shirt, boots with thick soles).
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Bring pets inside; restrain them with a leash, a cage, or inside a secure room; and provide them with plenty of water.
  • Take action to protect your livestock.
  • Move flammable materials such as doormats, wheelie bins, and outdoor furniture away from your house.
  • Fill containers such as your bath, sinks, and buckets with water so you have access to drinking water and firefighting water.
  • Close windows and doors, sealing the gaps under doors and screens with wet towels to keep smoke out of the house.

KEEP UP TO DATE BY:

  • Following QFES on Facebook (@QldFireandEmergencyServices) and Twitter (@QldFES)
  • Staying tuned to your local radio station. Find your local ABC radio station at https://radio.abc.net.au/help/offline and your local commercial radio station at http://www.commercialradio.com.au/find-a-station/queensland;
  • Visiting the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map

FURTHER INFORMATION:

  • For bushfire preparation tips, visit the RFS website: www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/BushFire_Safety
  • For information about road closures, call 13 19 40 or visit www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au

Earlier: EIGHT rural and urban crews are working to contain a grass fire off Old Goombungee Rd, at Birnam.

The fire started about 11.30am.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Service spokesman said the fire posed no current threat to property.

Residents are asked to close windows and doors and if suffering from a respiratory condition, keep medications close by.

Motorists should drive with caution and to conditions.

If residents are concerned their property is under threat they are advised to phone triple-0 immediately.


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