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Historic Tower Escapes Blaze

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Burned bushland lining Kilcoy-Murgon Road near the turn-off to Jimna (Photo: Cameron Bond)

The Jimna fire tower showing singed trees nearby  (Photo: Cameron Bond)

December 22, 2019

The recent bushfires in the Jimna area burned dangerously close to the historic Jimna fire tower.

Photos taken by Cherbourg firefighter Cameron Bond show singed trees close to the 47 metre-tall wooden structure.

Water-bombing aircraft and the efforts of firefighters on the ground have been credited for saving the tower.

The State Government has committed $2 million for the restoration of the tower following a decade-long campaign by local residents to protect the tourist attraction after it was closed to the public for safety reasons in 2006.

The Jimna Fire Tower is claimed to be the tallest man-made wooden fire tower of its type in the southern hemisphere, and was formerly Heritage-listed.

HQ Plantations, which manages the nearby forestry, said more than 700ha of hoop pine plantation in the Jimna area had been burned in the recent fires, affecting more than 500,000 trees

The Peach Trees camping area and associated walking tracks, managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, have been closed until further notice.

In a notice to Jimna residents, HQ Plantations said the burnt and damaged trees would need to the cleared.

“Even though many of these trees may still look green, (hoop pine) is very susceptible to fire, and they will gradually die over the coming months,” the statement said.

“We will be increasing the number of harvesting crews in this area … for the next three to six months to salvage as much of the burnt area as possible.”

HQ Plantations said the damaged areas would be replanted, with a progressive program beginning once there had been a suitable amount of rainfall.

[Photos: Cameron Bond]

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Kilcoy-Murgon Road re-opened to traffic at the weekend after being closed due to fires in the forestry areas between Mt Stanley and Upper Kandanga.

These fires have been blamed for the smoke blanketing the South Burnett in recent days.

QFES issued a “Watch and Act: Prepare To Leave” alert on Wednesday evening for a fire burning in the Yabba State Forest and Kilcoy-Murgon Road was closed north of Kingaham.

By Thursday, the warning level had been lowered to “Advice” and residents were advised that it was safe to return.

On Sunday, a QFES spokesperson said fire crews were no longer required at the incident but the Department of Transport and Main Roads said a 60km/h speed limit was in force on Kilcoy-Murgon Road.

At 3:00pm on Sunday, 12 fire units were at the nearby Wrattens State Forest fire.

This fire is burning within containment lines near Hart Road and Sterling Road at Upper Kandanga.

A QFES spokesperon said the fire was posing no threat to property at this time.

Related articles:

Scorched roadsigns at the Jimna turn-off  (Photo: Cameron Bond)

A portable water tank being deflated at the Jimna oval … these portable tanks were being used as refilling stations by water-bombing helicopters  (Photo: Cameron Bond)

Harvesting equipment is moving into the Jimna area to begin the job of removing the dead and dying hoop pines  (Photo: Cameron Bond)


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