CLOSE ENOUGH: This drone photo of Mt Archer taken yesterday shows close the flames came to houses. during last week's bushfire emergency.
CLOSE ENOUGH: This drone photo of Mt Archer taken yesterday shows close the flames came to houses. during last week's bushfire emergency. Allan Reinikka ROK280818amtarche

Mount Archer fire good preparation for dangerous summer

AFTER a thick smoke haze plagued Rockhampton for most of last week, Mount Archer is in a strong position ahead of what is predicted to be a dangerous summer.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Inspector Les Williams said people would see a few small fire lines visible in coming nights, but the fire was at this stage controlled.

Insp Williams said Queensland Parks and Wildlife took control of Mount Archer again on Sunday, after a week-long slog to fight a large fire.

The fire originated in New Zealand Gully, but the operation was complicated when spot fires were sparked by the careful back burning operation being conducted.

Thick smoke blanketed Rockhampton and surrounds for much of the week as crews contained the slow-moving blaze.

Insp Williams said the end result was better preparation for what could be a serious fire season ahead with little rain and a hot summer predicted.

"It was a very successful back burn because we were able to allow the fire to back slowly down the hills, rather than trying to light up from the bottom which would have been damaging to vegetation,” he said.

"We've got a lot of very dry fuel out there and we've seen when you get low humidity, high temps and high wind the fire risk goes up considerably.”

Insp Williams said last week's operations highlighted again how well organisations in the region worked together.

"It shows the value of Central Region and the great working relationships between all the people who attend and manage these incidents including SES, Rockhampton Regional Council, Rural Fire Service, Parks and Wildlife, police and QFES,” he said.

"We've got a lot of confidence in the ability of those organisations and we frequently put people from those organisations into the command structure.

"Year after year I see how well that works. It's a huge advantage to the region that we all work so well.”



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