News

Man's home saved with help of rural firies

INSPIRED: Coonarr resident Stephen Turner watched crews battle a blaze near his home and is considering joining the service.
INSPIRED: Coonarr resident Stephen Turner watched crews battle a blaze near his home and is considering joining the service.

THE simple act of staying home helped Stephen Turner not only save his home but has also opened the door to him joining the Coonarr Rural Fire Brigade.

"I felt pretty guilty watching them all work so I'm thinking I might join," the 53-year-old said.

Mr Turner, who grew up in the western Sydney suburb of Penrith, had originally planned to travel to Bundaberg yesterday.

But the weekend's fires, which burned more than 100 hectares of bushland, convinced Mr Turner to remain at the home in which he had lived for just the past 18 months.

"This is the first fire I've had to deal with since moving here," he said.

"I've been watching it the whole time.

"The last two days it looked like it was going away."

Firefighters worked around the clock to control the blaze, with Bingera Weir, Goodwood and Childers crews joining Coonarr crews.

Spot fires broke out in Mr Turner's and other nearby residents' yards yesterday as heavy winds combined with the high temperature and low humidity to create optimal conditions for fires.

Firefighters acted quickly to prevent larger problems, but for Mr Turner there was one act on Sunday night that made all the difference.

"They backburned along the fire trail," he said pointing to the fence separating his property and the bushland.

"I'm glad somebody had the foresight to do that.

"It could've been a lot worse."

Rural Fire Service Bundaberg acting area director Craig Magick said the fire at Coonarr had been contained and crews were working to strengthen containment lines.

"Crews will continue to monitor the area over the next 12 to 18 hours," Mr Magick said.

A fire at Monduran yesterday afternoon was a timely reminder that people needed to vigilant in the current

conditions.

A wheel bearing on a boat sparked a small fire, which was quickly contained by crews.

"The smallest thing can spark and cause a fire," Mr Magick said.

He said the fire bans in the Bundaberg and North Burnett regions would remain in place until tonight when they would be reassessed.

He said people should report any fire to 000 immediately to enable crews to deal with it quickly.

He also confirmed that the Coonarr fire and Sunday's Meadowvale fire were suspicious and were under investigation.

Topics:  bushfires coonarr



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