Fire raged through the National Park on Goodwood Road fanned by strong northerly winds causing a visibility problem for traffic.
Fire raged through the National Park on Goodwood Road fanned by strong northerly winds causing a visibility problem for traffic. Ron Burgin

Bundaberg aflame

STRONG winds, high temperatures and dry conditions pushed emergency service workers to their limit yesterday, as they battled five severe fires and a number of power outages.

Powerlines blown down at Kalkie and Calavos both sparked grassfires, another fire at Calavos was contained by 4pm, and firefighters battled another blaze off Goodwood Road into the evening.

About 9pm another fire broke out at Kentucky Blue Grass.

Rural firefighters area director Tony Johnston said the gusty conditions had intensified the efforts of firefighters, and a total fire ban was now in place.

Bureau of Meteorology weather forecaster Michelle Berry said it may not be as windy today, but conditions are expected to be drier.

Power to about 900 residents across the Bundaberg district was interrupted in the afternoon due to the winds.

With a total fire ban in place from midnight last night, emergency service workers hope they will not have another horror day following yesterday's four major grass fires and loss of power across the Bundaberg district.

“People need to realise there's a total fire ban and they must be vigilant,” rural fire-fighters area director Tony Johnstone said.

“(The wind) probably made the fire travel a lot faster than anticipated.”

Gusts of winds blew down powerlines and sparked blazes at Zeilke Street, Kalkie, for a short period around noon, and at Fallons Rocks Road, Calavos, from noon until about 4pm, Mr Johnstone said.

Ergon Energy corporate communications manager Rod Rehbein said power was restored to about 200 customers in the area south of Bundaberg around Dr May's Crossing after the Calavos grassfire, between 1.30pm and 3pm.

Mr Johnston said another fire that started about 11am at Palm Springs Drive, Calavos, was contained by 4pm.

Fire-fighters also battled a 5ha blaze of cane trash and bushland off Goodwood Road, from about 2pm until its containment by 6pm.

Mr Johnston said Queensland Parks and Wildlife also attended the Goodwood Road scene to assess the extent of damage.

Mr Rehbein said about 900 Ergon Energy customers in the Bundaberg district had their power supply interrupted yesterday afternoon, as a result of a series of incidents caused by strong winds.

“The strength of the wind has blown trees from outside the clearance zones on to powerlines in several areas, bringing down powerlines and sparking grassfires in two locations,” he said.

He said the impact was widespread, with damage to the network in east Bundaberg, Kalkie, North Bundaberg, Gooburrum, Givelda and Coonarr areas.

Bureau of Meteorology weather forecaster Michelle Berry said there was “unfortunately not much good news with wind”.

Ms Berry said the north to north-westerly winds would continue to be gusty today, with even more hot and dry conditions.

Related: Be ready for fires

Keep up-to-date with fires and fire bans in Bundaberg region.

Read more about fires in Bundaberg.

Get up-to-date weather information for the Bundaberg region.

Do you have your own stories or pictures? Email us at editorial@finda.com.au.



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