Byfield fire burning within containment lines

RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue

7pm: A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesperson said the fire is now burning within containment lines. 

The number of crews on site has dropped dramatically, with two local rural crews, two Bundaberg crews and a tanker. 

1:45pm: Fire crews are continuing to strengthen containment lines and fire breaks in the bushfire burning in Byfield National Park. 

Last night, more than 20 residents chose to self-evacuate although there were no mandatory evacuations in place. 

6.20am: THE RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service helped fight the bushfire in Byfield National Park yesterday.

Yesterday afternoon, the Livingstone Shire Local Disaster Management Group was activated in response to the current fire situation at Byfield.

This incident was being controlled by Hancock Forestry Group with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) in attendance.

Livingstone Shire Mayor Bill Ludwig said the Local Disaster Management Group has advised the appropriate State Agencies that it has stood up in a support role and is monitoring the situation.

"Livingstone Shire Council has provided heavy machinery and water trucks to support efforts being undertaken by Hancock Forestry Group and QFES.

"Council has also arranged to provide temporary overnight accommodation to any self-evacuees who may not have friends or family with whom they can shelter.

"People who wish to evacuate and who require temporary overnight accommodation are welcome to use the Evacuation Centre that has been set up at the PCYC in Cooee Bay (Matthew Flinders Drive). Persons heading to this evacuation centre are encouraged to call 0414 360 027 to let the Centre know they are coming.

"The LDMG will reassess the situation and will meet once advice is received from the QFES in regards to further support that may be required," Cr Ludwig said.

6pm: As at 6pm, a large bushfire is burning near Byfield (north of Yeppoon).

Currently, 26 fire crews are working to contain the blaze, which broke out around 12.30pm yesterday.

The fire continues to burn in between Crows Road and Orchard Road and crews are working to strengthen containment lines.

Crews will be conducting back burning operations this evening to contain the fire and smoke will be seen in the area.

Residents need to remain vigilant while this activity is being undertaken.

Livingstone Shire Council has arranged temporary overnight accommodation to those who have chosen to self-evacuate. 

People who wish to evacuate and who require temporary overnight accommodation are welcome to use the Evacuation Centre that has been set up at the PCYC in Cooee Bay (Matthew Flinders Drive).

Persons heading to this evacuation centre are encouraged to call 0414 360 027 to let the Centre know they are coming.

Livingstone Shire Council has provided heavy machinery and water trucks to support efforts being undertaken by Hancock Forestry Group and QFES.

3:45pm: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is advising residents in the vicinity of Byfield, north of Yeppoon, to enact their bushfire plan.

At 3.45pm, Thursday 19 March a large bushfire was located between Crows Road and Orchard Road, Byfield.

The fast moving fire is travelling in a southerly direction and is expected to impact the areas of Orchard Road and Yaxleys Road around 4.30pm.

This fire is moving quickly and firefighters are experiencing difficulty controlling it.

Spot fires may occur ahead of the fire front and embers are also being thrown from the fire.

Residents are strongly advised to leave now if their plan is to do so or if they don't have a plan. Leaving is the safest option for survival.

Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable.

10.15am: FERNS Hideaway owners Genevieve and John Martin have had a pretty rough trot since cyclone Marcia ripped through the region last month.

Trying to get back to normal, the Byfield business is now faced with another threat, a bushfire only two roads away from their property.

Genevieve told The Morning Bulletin this morning that her husband John had been out all day yesterday helping to contain the fire.

"We could see the smoke from our place which started about midday yesterday," she said.

"It's contained now I think but the wind seems to be picking up this morning."

Read more in tomorrow's edition.

8am: REPORTS indicate residents and business owners already tired from the post Cyclone Marcia clean up at Byfield joined fire crews last night to battle the forest fire threatening homes.

Faced with an insurance excess of $50,000 following the destruction caused by Cyclone Marcia in Byfield, Ferns Hideaway was losing hope of ever re-opening before their loyal customer base and the wider community rallied around them in their time of need.

Owners John "Marto" Martin and Genevieve Martin said they were eternally grateful for the help and support.

Marto said so far, a total of 1280 man hours had been spent cleaning and repairing the resort.

A reader submitted these photographs to The Bulletin this morning, saying Marto was out fighting the fire last night:

7.45am: FIRE crews are en route to continue work containing a fire in the Byfield National Park which started yesterday.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesman said crews overnight had constructed a fire line for the fire near Oakey Creek.

He said the main focus today was to maintain the fire in the national park, which has a lot of fuel after Cyclone Marcia damaged/destroyed 80% of one company's pine plantations (click here to read more).

The spokesman said the priority today was to construct a fire break using machinery.

As at 7.45pm: A large bushfire is burning near Oakey Creek (north of Byfield).

Currently, seven rural fire crews, along with other agencies, are working to bring the blaze under control.

There is no threat to homes at this time.

The fire is burning within containment lines and crews are working to strengthen these lines using dozers.

Residents are asked to monitor the situation in their area and phone Triple Zero (000) if they feel their property comes under threat.

Residents should consider taking precautionary measures including:

•Putting on protective clothing; •Drinking lots of water;

•Moving car/s to a safe location;

•Closing windows and doors and shutting blinds; •Bringing pets inside, restraining them (leash, cage or secure room) and providing water

; •Wetting down fine fuels close to buildings;

•Removing garden furniture, doormats and other items

; •Sealing all gaps under doors and screens;

•Filling containers with water - eg bath, sinks, buckets, wheelie bins; •Having ladders ready for roof space access (inside) and against roof (outside);

•Having a generator or petrol powered pump ready;

•Checking and patrolling outside for embers, extinguishing any spot fires and seeking shelter as the fire front arrives. Regular updated information will be provided on the Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) website at or listen to local radio. For information on current bushfire incidents visit




LIVINGSTONE mayor Bill Ludwig has been under the pump this afternoon, but it's not the typical pressures from his day job.

This afternoon and most of today he has been working with rural fire crews around his Gracehill home at Woodbury (near Yeppoon) to stop a fire from spreading onto his property.

He told the Morning Bulletin last night one of his neighbours' had lit a paddock on fire without a permit.

He says the fire, which he describes as not being a "roaring blaze", is not immediately affecting any homes.

However, he says his next door neighbour has left his property with his five children because the smoke is too overwhelming.

Cr Ludwig lives on a hill. His closest neighbour lives about 300m from his property.

Fire crews have been working to put fire breaks around Cr Ludwig's home to try to contain the fire.

His property is not under threat at this stage.

He says the fire is about 500m from his home but is travelling in the opposite direction.

A change of wind direction could change that, he says.

Fire crews are monitoring the blaze.

However, a fire further up in dense forest at Byfield National Park is of major concern.

Cr Ludwig says helicopters will be flown in to fight the roaring blaze from the air.

It's not known at this stage how big that fire is. Residents in the Byfield area near Ferns Hideaway are urged to remain alert.

More information to come.

Topics:  bill ludwig byfield national park cyclone marcia fire livingstone shire

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