Firefighters battle an out of control blaze at Thornton, photographed by local farmer Craig McIntyre
Firefighters battle an out of control blaze at Thornton, photographed by local farmer Craig McIntyre

Reinforcements arrive ahead of horror fire weather

REINFORCEMENTS are on their way for exhausted firefighters in the Lockyer Valley.

Crews have been working to control numerous fire fronts in the region over the past week, with some members having been on the fire grounds for six days.

Thankfully, two strike teams of 30 odd fireys are heading out way from Toowoomba and further west to help relieve local crews.

Grantham based incident controller Peter Roberts said the strike teams were welcome.

"It's great to have some support from around Queensland to come and help us at this time," Mr Roberts said.

A lull in conditions yesterday allowed crews to prepare for today's expect horror weather.

Mr Roberts said the preparation was vital, with conditions set deteriorate rapidly, with no relief in site this week.

"We are certainly going back into those (dangerous) conditions. The fire weather conditions are going to come bad again … very dry, very hot again," he said.

"We worked exceedingly hard (yesterday) to ensure that we have locked our fires down as best we possibly can anticipating the weather that's coming."

He said QFES were not calling fires contained as of yesterday in the Lockyer Valley.

Officially two fires are burning in the region, but Mr Roberts explained these fires had different "fingers" of flame fronts moving in different directions, create division with in the fire.

 

 

Estimates on Sunday suggested more that 1400 hectares of land had been scorched.

Fire conditions across the weekend had tested firefighters to their limits, with multiple homes under threat at Laidley Creek West, Mulgowie, Thornton and Lefthand Branch.

"They have been (working) in very challenging weather patterns where we have had exceedingly warm days, relative humidity dropping exceedingly low and the winds have been very strong and shifting around," he said.

Until a change in the conditions on Sunday afternoon, crews were able to be almost nothing to halt the advance of the fires.

"We've had a lot of fire fighters not necessarily trying to put out the fire, but protect properties as the fire goes by," he said.

"It wasn't until Sunday afternoon that we started to gain some control on the fire."

With conditions set to worsen today and into tomorrow, it was an important reminder for residents to stay aware and report and signs of fire to Triple-Zero immediately.

"People should be exceedingly aware of the environment that they are living in, at all times of the day," Mr Roberts warned.

"Fire can start before we are even altered and gain in intensity and endanger lives, so people need to be aware at all times."


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