A firefighter shows how a fast fire reacts when water is used to try and put it out at the Safe Communities Expo at the Rockhampton Heritage Village.
A firefighter shows how a fast fire reacts when water is used to try and put it out at the Safe Communities Expo at the Rockhampton Heritage Village. Chris Ison

Rain a relief for firefighters

LARGE grass fires have consumed around 12,300 hectares of land in the Rockhampton region over the past week, forcing Queensland Fire and Rescue to deploy an incident management team from south-east Queensland.

Patches of land in Alton Downs, Mount Morgan, Mount Archer, Stanwell and The Caves were ruined by blazes on Friday and over the weekend, but buildings and homes escaped damage.

Operations manager of the Incident Control Centre, Brad Stockwell, said the team would be preparing for the rest of the fire season, which should finish in November.

Firefighters were able to get a fire that spanned 30 acres under control within an hour-and-a-half at 4.10pm yesterday on Ridgelands Rd at Alton Downs.

Mr Stockwell said yesterday's early morning rain caused him to breath a sigh of relief.

“That little bit of rain and cooler weather has really helped us out,” he said.

But he advised residents not to become complacent, particularly while completing home maintenance.

A mower sparked a fire in dry grass on a property at The Caves on Saturday, and a spark from a welder was behind the massive blaze at Stanwell.

“Be mindful if you're going to use welders, grinders or hot machines to wet the ground down around you,” Brad said. “And stay tuned to radio stations. QFRS will be sending out watch, act and alert messages.”

He said rural and volunteer firefighters had played a large part in helping control fires.

Firefighters will continue taking preventative measures using controlled burns between Lakes Creek Rd and Frenchville.



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