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Firies Battle Fast-Moving Flames

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Heavy smoke blanketed much of the fire ground and prompted warnings from the QFES for residents to leave the area

August 30, 2017

A fast-moving grassfire in the Wattle Camp area on Wednesday afternoon threatened homes and sparked the declaration of an exclusion zone by the Local Disaster Management Group.

A QFES spokesperson said emergency services were contacted at 12:20pm about a grass fire near McClymont Road at Wattle Camp.

This is an area of small acreage properties surrounded by timber and open paddocks.

At 1:30pm, firefighters declared a “Watch and Act” status for the fast-moving fire and told residents to “leave now”.

They warned they may not be able to protect every property, and the fire could have “a significant effect on the community”.

Five urban crews, 16 rural crews, a water tanker and a QFES helicopter were called to the scene in a bid to battle the flames.

The QFES spokesperson said the fireground had been divided into three sectors: north, eastern and western.

At 3:00pm, firefighters and the waterbombing helicopter were extinguishing flames on the eastern flank, while other firefighters were attacking the north and western flanks.

At 4:00pm, the “Watch and Act” alert was still in place, as well as a one kilometre exclusion zone around the intersection of Memerambi-Barkers Creek Road and Wattle Camp Road.

At 5:00pm, the Local Disaster Management Group said three properties were immediately under threat however many resources were on site to protect them. No properties have been lost so far, and there had been no forced evacuations.

The fire was heading in a northerly direction towards the Cherbourg National Park; National Parks staff were on the scene in this area.

The LDMG said the was growing in an easterly direction and posed the biggest threat in this direction.

Fire crews will patrol the fire throughout the night and were expecting the fire to remain active for the next couple of days.

At 5:45pm, the QFES lowered the fire warning status from “Watch and Act” to “Advice”.

Urban crews and rural firefighters were busy trying to stop the fire jumping Memerambi-Barkers Creek Road

A helicopter was called in to provide air support and co-ordination for the firefighters on the ground as well as be available for water bombing

Flames along the edge of the Memerambi-Barkers Creek Road were being periodically swept higher by gusty winds

A Kingaroy fire truck leaves a McClymont Road property after ensuring the house was safe ... the fire is believed to have started in the vicinity of McClymont Road at Wattle Camp

As far as we could go ... the flames and smoke extended a long way east of this point on Memerambi-Barkers Creek Road

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