BLAZE: Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service?s Justin Lawten keeps watch on a fire at Mt Archer
BLAZE: Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service?s Justin Lawten keeps watch on a fire at Mt Archer

Fire bug sets homes at risk

STEVE CARDWELL'S home is one of dozens of Rockhampton homes which could be threatened by deliberately lit fires in the Berserker Ranges.

The father of two's property is at the bottom of Mt Archer in the danger zone which Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) has identified as a fire risk.

District manager QPWS Peter Moore said yesterday the fires could threaten houses south of Pilbeam Drive in the coming days. ? "There were two fires we believe were deliberately lit in the early hours of the morning on Monday or late Sunday,'' he said yesterday.

"It may have the potential to continue to burn for a couple of days, and threaten properties to the south towards Nerimbra.

"Property owners should prepare if they are adjacent to bushland in the Mt Archer area, especially south of Pilbeam Drive.

Yesterday, as fire jumped the road and spot fires erupted, breathing was difficult at the summit of Mt Archer.

Mr Cardwell said he had seen many fires over the years.

"I've been here 14 years, and I've seen the whole mountain lit up,'' he explained.

"I've had fire across the road.

"It's a normal thing.''

The Frenchville man said the QPWS warnings did not really concern him.

"I don't see the threat, I really don't,'' he said from his Frenchville Road home.

"I'll worry when next door's house is on fire.''

Helicopters dumped water on the affected areas on Monday afternoon as QPWS and Fire and Rescue Services worked towards containing the blazes.

Yesterday, QPWS was taking care of the majority of hot spots in the area, however Fire and Rescue were on stand by in case conditions worsened.



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