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Chopper Called In To Fight Flames

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This McDermott Aviation helicopter made multiple return trips flying through heavy smoke to drop loads of water on the Curtis Road fire

August 17, 2018

Houses came under threat on the outskirts of Kingaroy on Friday afternoon from a fast-moving bushfire which broke out about 2:25pm near Curtis and Schellbachs roads.

A helicopter was called in to drop loads of water on the fire while multiple rural and urban fire crews worked to protect properties as winds whipped up the flames.

At one point the fire was burning on both the eastern and western sides of Schellbachs Road.

It is believed to have been accidentally started by a spark from a vehicle on a Curtis Road property.

Local property owners joined in the fight with tractors and other earthmoving equipment, while water tankers rushed to keep up a supply of water to fire crews.

An incident control point was set up on the corner of Curtis and Schellbachs roads.

Police and SES volunteers blocked traffic from accessing the area while 22 fire crews battled the blaze.

Rural crews were called in from as far away as Tablelands, Mt McEuen, Maidenwell and South Nanango to assist with containing the fire.

At 5:55pm, there were still 20 fire crews on the scene, including seven urban units, plus QFES support staff.

A QFES spokesman said firefighters were working to put in containment lines.

The helicopter continued to drop loads of water until night fell.

Earlier, QFES issued a “Watch and Act” alert at 3:10pm for the fire, warning conditions could get worse.

“You need to be ready to follow your bushfire survival plan. If you do not have a plan, or intend to leave, you should be ready to leave the area because the situation could get worse quickly,” the alert said.

“A swift moving fire is travelling in a northerly direction towards Haydens Road and North Branch Road, Kingaroy. The fire is likely to impact Haydens Road.

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

By 5:10pm, the warning level had been downgraded to “Advice”, with the fire burning to the east of Schellbachs Road.


The fire was burning along a front between Curtis and Schellbachs roads

The QFES North Coast water tanker and private water tankers ferried supplies to fire crews

Wind whipped up flames in properties along Curtis Road

Police, Ambulance and QFES personnel at the incident control point on the corner of Curtis and Schellbachs roads

Fire burns at the rear of a property in Curtis Road

At least two houses were under threat at one stage of the fire but firefighters successfully prevented the flames from reaching them … thankfully, the only victim of the fire was this trailer
(Photo: Supplied)

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