Bushfire threats test region’s firefighters
FIREFIGHTING resources were stretched throughout the Rockhampton region yesterday after bushfires predictably erupted, spurred on by heatwave conditions.
With the Fire Danger Rating elevated to 'very high' and Rockhampton's mercury soaring to 39.5 degrees, fire crews mustered their resources to fight blazes on a number of fronts.
To the north, bushfires and grass fires burnt in Yaamba, Milman, Etna Creek and Parkhurst with firefighters also monitoring existing fires burning to the west at Alton Downs and the south at Mount Morgan.
At 11.15am, fire crews were called to douse a grass fire which had sprung up at Etna Creek, on the grounds of the Capricornia Correctional Centre.
The QCS spokesperson said the fire was burning near machinery positioned at the site of the prison's expansion works.
The fire wasn't regarded as a security threat to the prison and was quickly extinguished.
Just as firefighters got on top of the fire, another was reported at 11.40am to be burning further north at Yaamba Rd and Milman Rd in Milman.
The fire quickly gained momentum with QFES calling for reinforcements including ground units, waterbombing support and an aerial fire mapping plane.
Described as "moving slowly" and "not under control" the fire threatened the Alligator Creek railway bridge leading to the temporary stopping of all train services.
Smoke lead to the Bruce Highway being closed at 2.30pm before a Flood Rd detour was established at 3.15pm, with police assisted by SES volunteers before reopening at 4.50pm.
The bushfire didn't threaten property and fire crews created control lines.
Late yesterday, QFES provided a comprehensive summary of the fires burning or recently extinguished in the Rockhampton region.
Around 3pm, a grass fire was reported to be burning near Birkbeck Drive, Parkhurst which was extinguished within 20 minutes.
At Alton Downs, the Ridgelands Rd fire was extinguished on Monday night but fire crews were continuing to revisit the area to ensure it doesn't reignite.
At 3.25pm, the bushfire warning level remained at the advice level for the fire burning at the Mount Morgan No. 7 Dam Wall near Byrnes Parade and Currin Street.
At 3.30pm, the bushfire warning level remained at the advice level for the Mount Morgan fire burning in Leydens Hill and Johnsons Hill areas.
Both of the Mount Morgan bushfires were burning within containment lines and were continued to be monitored throughout last night and into this morning.
QFES said properties were not under direct threat but locals are advised to keep up to date and decide what actions to take if the situation changed.
People in areas near these bushfires will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality.
Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you believe you or your property is under threat.
In Capricornia, the fire danger level will remain at Very High on Wednesday before dropping to High on Thursday and Low-Moderate on Friday.
The fire danger level for the Central Highlands was expected to drop back to Very High on Wednesday and Thursday, before dropping to High on Friday.