Bushfires continue to threaten Queensland communities

27 October 2023

Written by: Hugo OCallaghan

Bushfires across several regions in Queensland are continuing to burn as firefighters hope for cooler weather ahead.

Two people have died in bushfires across Queensland that have destroyed 32 homes.

Extreme fire weather warnings have today been issued by the Bureau of Meteorology for the Channel Country, Central West and North West districts of Queensland.

The bushfire started in Tara and went from 6,000 to 11,000 hectares burnt due to lightning strikes in the area on Thursday night, igniting more fires. Rural Fire Service Superintendent Wayne Waltisbuhl said that firefighters were fatiguing from the nature of the fire.

“Every resource we have available in our region was deployed last night to try and contain multiple lightning strikes across the region and try and contain the current fires that we had,” he said.

“It was a really tough night for everyone concerned.”

Late Wednesday, there was a wind change and some light showers that were supposed to make the conditions better to control the blaze over the Tara area, but Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh said that it made conditions worse.

“If anything, it created more issues for our firies. They had to attend to five lightning strikes and put them out as soon as they appeared,” he said.

While the fire in Tara is nearly contained, there are still currently around 80 fires happening around Queensland. Mount Isa, a city in the northwest of Queensland has received a watch and act warning from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES), as some residents been told to leave now.

Kogan has also been issued with a watch and act warning by the QFES to be prepared to leave. Lake Moondarra Road residents, near Mount Isa, were told to leave immediately.

Cooler temperatures are forecasted for Queensland over the next few days which Waltisbuhl said would help morale amongst the firefighters. Waltisbuhl also believes that the cool change will make conditions more comfortable for firefighters but is worried about the wind.

“But we still are in a fire danger area, the southerly wind will still push any flames along.”

Photo: Burnout ops by McCall smokejumpers by Mike McMillan available HERE and used under a Creative Commons license. This photo has not been modified.