Volunteer firefighter Ryan Peterson arrives in Rocky ready to help fight the flames across CQ.
Volunteer firefighter Ryan Peterson arrives in Rocky ready to help fight the flames across CQ. Allan Reinikka

Exhausted firefighters get a break

BRISBANE firefighter Blair Moses received a warm welcome yesterday when he touched down in Rockhampton to relieve his exhausted local colleagues.

He was part of a team of 17 Brisbane based firefighters including 15 volunteers and two senior officers who have come to help contain Central Queensland fires in preparation for a hectic weekend ahead.

As the fire conditions begin to ease across the region for a few days, the team will be out on the fire ground until Thursday to give the local crews, who have been working tirelessly since last Friday, a rest.

Over the past week, urban and rural firefighters have been battling large fires near Mt Morgan that have been threatening houses and causing crews grief.

Further back-burning continued into the night and crews will work to contain the fire today.

Crews were working on the Tungamull blaze which started on Sunday, and after last night's back-burning they hope to have it contained this afternoon .

The fire at Parkhurst which was contained Monday night was being monitored yesterday.

Meanwhile, four urban crews went to a grass fire on Upper Piper Street at Gladstone yesterday.

Eight crews were also on scene at a large grass fire at Captain Creek, near Agnes Waters which broke out about 11.30 Monday night.

Crews were conducting property protection near Dillon Murphy and Baldaw Roads and Avocado Crescent late in the day and encouraged residents to be prepared to enact their bushfire plan. Two sheds were destroyed in this blaze.

Mr Moses, who is the acting Inspector for Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Brisbane region, said his role would be to help out with CQ fire management duties.

The 40-year-old, who has plans to go back to his home town in Canada in three weeks, said right now their major priority was to protect the welfare of their colleagues.

“It's exhausting work and volunteers don't get enough credit for what they do out there,” Mr Moses said.

QFRS volunteer Ryan Peterson, who is based between Ipswich and Toowoomba, said he packed his bags after he got the call at 10pm on Monday night.

“I left my newly hatched geese behind,” Mr Peterson said.

Despite taking time off work, he said volunteering as a firefighter was a passion.

“I started as a volunteer in 2005 after I tried it out for one day and fell in love with firefighting,” he said.

Rural operations manager John Fisher said they were looking at bringing in another team from outside the region if necessary when the current Brisbane crew heads home.

He said yesterday and today's good weather was the perfect opportunity to aim to contain these fires throughout the region before the wind and heat picks up from Thursday into the weekend.

Fire bans will remain in place until midnight next Monday, October 5, and will be extended if necessary.



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