Flames spread quickly because of the strong winds (Photo: Howard Jack)

August 12, 2015

Two waterbombers were called in to help control a large grassfire burning in the Coolabunia-Hodgeleigh area on Wednesday afternoon.

A specially equipped helicopter picked up water loads from local dams to dump on the blaze.https://southburnett.com.au/news2/2015/08/waterbomber-called-to-large-grass-fire/

Another helicopter was allowing a fire controller to direct operations from the air.

At 2:10pm, the fire had been contained but was still burning.

A QFES spokesperson said the waterbombers were being re-fuelled and then an assessment would be made to see if they were required again.

She said firefighters were still working to extinguish the fire.

The blaze broke out in grassland in the Bellbird Road / White Rock Road area about 9:00am. The windy conditions meant the flames spread rapidly.

Twenty fire crews were called to scene.

Rural crews included Ballogie, Booie Rise, Brooklands, Kunioon-Hodgleigh, Malar Booie, Sandy Ridges, South Nanango, Stuart River, Taromeo and Wattle Camp plus two urban units.

Firefighters conducted backburning in a bid to control the fire and also did property protection, although no homes were under direct threat.

Smoke covered a large area near the blaze.

UPDATE 4:00pm: A waterbombing helicopter has dropped several more loads on the grassfire. The blaze is burning within containment lines and poses no threat to property.

* * *

Wednesday afternoon’s storms, which brought hail to parts of Blackbutt, Yarraman and Kumbia as well as some short downpours in Kingaroy, didn’t help the fire crews working at Hodgeleigh.

By 4:00pm, the fire ground had received little if any rain.

[Photos by Howard Jack Photography and southburnett.com.au]

Lieutenant Michael Armstrong, from Kingaroy Station, was controlling the fire-fighting efforts late on Wednesday afternoon from inside the QFES Operations Support Unit
Rural and urban fire crews take a breather at the control area, at the end of White Rock Road
The  QFES Operations Support Unit, from Maryborough, on site at White Rocks Road
Urban and rural crews conducted back-burning in a bid to contain the fire (Photo: Howard Jack)
Smoke from the blaze spread over a large area (Photo: Howard Jack)
Fire crews conduct backburning around the perimeter of the main fire (Photo: Howard Jack)
Urban fire crews attended as well as volunteer rural firefighters (Photo: Howard Jack)
The specially equipped helicopter called in to do waterbombing (Photo: Howard Jack)
The waterbombing helicopter flies into the heart of the blaze
The waterbomber returns after another delivery to the fire on Wednesday afternoon

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