Superintendent Brian Smith from the QFES talking about the current fire situation.
Superintendent Brian Smith from the QFES talking about the current fire situation. Chris Ison ROK171116cfire2

Wildfire of a week for Rocky region

CENTRAL Queensland fires may be behind containment lines for now but crews are still working to douse the flames completely.

Several fires broke out in Yeppoon, Rockhampton and Woorabinda over the last week with all of the fires currently being treated as suspicious.

Superintendent Brian Smith from QFES said local crews had been battling four fires of significance using back burning to help contain them.

However the hot weather conditions hindered fire crews efforts to fight the blazes.

"Unfortunately given the current weather situation and the conditions over the next few days, those fires have the potential to break out again and we're already seeing that down at Kelly's Landing road just north of Yeppoon so we have crews on scene who are responding to that,” Mr Smith said.

"But it's still a very difficult situation for us over the next few days as we still have a fair few fires in the landscape as well as previous fires that we need to monitor.”

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service crew have made changes to their rosters for next week, anticipating a rise in temperatures which could possibly lead to more fires.

"The weather forecast is telling us we're going to have similar weather up until Tuesday, Wednesday next week and then we will get a spike in temperatures and fire conditions on Thursday,” Mr Smith said.

"We're deploying instant management teams on Monday into Rockhampton and also Gladstone and pre positioning an aircraft in both of those locations as well.

"We're also stepping up our fire investigation, we have fire investigators coming up from Brisbane on Monday and they will start fire investigations into the current fires we've had in the region and also any new investigations.

"At this stage we're treating all those fires as suspicious, we have no cause of those fires at this stage so we will be investigating all those fires to determine the cause.”

Mr Smith said his crews had been working hard over the last seven to 10 days and would take the opportunity to rest over the next couple of days while the fires were under control.

The bushfire this season has come around a month later then normally expected which has acted as a double edged sword for local fire fighters.

"We had those rains earlier on in September and that gave us a reprieve but what it also did though was allow fuel growth within the area.”

"We are now seeing all the fuels that have cured and have been exposed to the heat and sunlight.

"So not just the small grasses will burn now we've got large trees, stumps and twigs that will burn quiet easily, the challenge for us now is if a fire starts any available fuel will burn.”

Smoke had also been an issue for the Central Queensland region as a result of the fires but Mr Smith said hopefully it would subside soon enough.

"Smokes been a bit of an issue for us as well, obviously with the Easterly winds we've been experiencing and the fires being down in Yeppoon and East of Rockhampton we're getting smoke coming over those areas,” he said.

"Hopefully those fires have been contained and we should see less smoke around over the next couple of days.”

Road closures which had been implemented due to the fires have now been removed and traffic can continue as normal.

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