Fire crews at full stretch

FIREFIGHTING efforts ramped up yesterday with the use of the fire spotting plane for the first time this season.

Meanwhile, fire crews were expected to work throughout last night containing, monitoring, back burning and assessing three fires in the region.

About 20 crews had attended the three fires - two at Mt Morgan and one at The Gemfields - by 5pm.

QFRS regional manager of Rural Operations for Central Region Brian Smith said QFRS used the fire spotting plane yesterday at the Mt Morgan fires, mapping and relaying intelligence back to crews on the ground to help with the firefighting efforts.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service was called to a grass fire on Cooks Rd at Hamilton Creek about 10.45am.

QFRS was called to another fire Tuesday night near Calliungal Lane, Moongan.

Mr Smith said the Calliungal Lane fire was in inaccessible mountain country.

"That fire is now coming down into the back of properties," he told The Morning Bulletin at 4.30pm.

Firefighters were called to a grassfire at The Gemfields, west of Emerald, on Goanna Flats Rd at 1.50pm.

The fire was near structures, but firefighters from seven crews worked to contain the fire before it reached houses.

"It's a difficult area for us," Mr Smith said.

"There are a number of structures in that area that are difficult for us to access (and protect)."

He said by 6.30pm last night, the fire was no longer near those structures.

Mr Smith said crews were expected to work throughout the night, back burning, protecting properties, monitoring and assessing.

He said the Calliungal Lane fire was expected to still be burning this morning and the Cooks Rd fire was hoped to be contained last night.

The Burnett Hwy was closed for about half an hour yesterday afternoon as firefighters conducted back burning near the Cooks Rd fire.

There were also reports of trees along the highway catching fire.

Very high fire danger conditions, including high dry winds, are predicted for today in the central west area, from Emerald to out past Longreach.

Permit holders are urged to refrain from lighting permit burns until at least next week.



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