Flight or fight as fires take hold

LOWMEAD, Rosedale and Deepwater residents were last night deliberating whether to fight or flee, as two huge bushfires approached their homes.

Queensland Police Service declared an emergency situation about 3.10pm, as the blaze took hold at Tableland and Mitchell roads, Mount Maria.

Lowmead resident Douglas Montgomery said the smoke was so thick, it was impossible to tell where it was coming from.

“It’s just unreal — the smoke was horrendous,” Mr Montgomery said.

“The police knocked on our door , telling us there was a fire at Tablelands Road. It frightened the hell out of me — before that, we didn’t know where the fire was.”

At Rosedale, resident Heather Muller said smoke was shrouding the air.

“There are about 50 fire brigades and SES people out there. It’s all burning down Mitchell Road,” Mrs Muller said.

Firefighters closed Mitchell Road, and urged residents to put their bushfire plans in place.

“Residents are advised to be prepared to relocate to a safer area if required,” a Department of Community Safety Media spokesperson said.

“Several homes are under threat within the immediate area and the Public Safety Preservation Act has been invoked.”

Last night, 15 fire crews and aircraft were working to contain the blaze, but Queensland Fire and Rescue Services (QFRS) warned firefighters may not be able to protect every affected property.

A second bushfire was also being fought near the Deepwater national park.

“This fire is currently holding containment lines, however residents in the vicinity of Maude Hill Road, Matchbox Road and Kate Avenue at Deepwater are urged to finalise bushfire plans and prepare for a fire that may impact on their community,” a QFRS spokesman said.

QFRS rural operations Bundaberg area director Tony Johnstone said several crews had been sent from the Bundaberg region to help battle the fires.



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