Crews back burn behind their Forbes Avenue home in Rockhampton.
Crews back burn behind their Forbes Avenue home in Rockhampton. Megan Lewis

Bushfire threat eases in Rocky


THE immediate bushfire threat has passed in the Frenchville area of Rockhampton with the blaze currently contained to the Mt Archer National Park.

The Queensland Fire Rescue Service advises residents living in or around the Mt Archer area, who chose to relocate on the advice of authorities, are now able to return to their homes.

 Several roads in the area will remain closed but local residents will be allowed through.

 Authorities are advising motorists to avoid the Mt Archer area as emergency vehicles need to have clear access there.

While the immediate threat to residential areas has passed for now, isolated pockets of unburnt land remain and the fire will continue to burn. 

Numerous fire crews in conjunction with waterbombing helicopters are working to contain the blaze.

Waterbombing helicopters are also working in the Lakes Creek and Yeppoon Road areas.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

The update comes after more than 100 households were told to evacuate on Sunday morning.

Authorities had described conditions as the worst Rockhampton has ever seen.

"Winds are predicted to be up above the 40km/h mark," assistant fire commissioner Neil Gallant this morning.

"Today these are the most dificult conditions. If we can successfully defend these streets then the worst will be over today we believe.

"We've got more than 150 firefighters on the ground in Rockhampton.

"The fire is moving fairly slowly this morning but as winds pick up it's moving a lot quicker.

"Yeppoon Road will mostly be closed for the day. If the fire jumps the road then we're in for a significant battle.

"So far it's burned out more than 4000 hectares and mostly national park. We are concentrating all efforts only on defending properties.

"Homes are our concern at the moment."

The fire started by someone who was welding in an area near Yeppoon Road about eight to nine days ago.

At the moment a fire-spotter has been deployed and is providing information on the Frenchville and Yepppoon Road areas.

There is also a fixed-wing airplane and helicopter bombers.
 
Queensland Fire and Rescue update 11.16AM

The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) is advising residents living in or around Saunders Street, Holt Street, Bloxsom Street and Shields Avenue in Frenchville near Mt Archer to leave the area now if the path is clear to do so. 

At 11am a large bushfire continues to burn at Mt Archer. The fast moving fire is travelling west-north-westerly toward structures on the fringe of Frenchville. 

This fire is moving with erratic winds and is currently uncontrolled. 

The fire is impacting on Frenchville and Koongal communities and some structures may be lost. Power, water and mobile phone supplies may be lost in the area over the next several hours. 

It will be very hot and windy and as the fire approaches it will become increasingly difficult to breathe. 

Residents are strongly advised to leave now if they are able to do so. Leaving is the safest option for survival. 

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

Authorities are advising motorists to avoid the Mt Archer area as emergency vehicles need to have clear access in the area. 

Currently, numerous fire crews are working to contain the blaze but firefighters will not be able to protect every affected property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door. 

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

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