Bushfire dies down after threatening homes
UPDATE 10AM: The Beecher State Forest fire is "down to almost nothing" according to a Queensland Fire and Rescue Service spokesman.
He said there would continue to be a "little bit" of smoke around the Gladstone region, unless the blaze "fires up like it did yesterday".
"Currently there are Queensland Parks and Wildlife crews at the scene of the fire and they will be in attendance all day.
"They'll be monitoring the fire and blacking out (extinguishing with water) areas that need it," the spokesperson said.
"The boys are just monitoring what's burning to keep it all safe today."
Rural crews were at the fire this morning and they left about one hour ago.
EARLIER: The skyscape over Beecher was blanketed with smoke on Wednesday as families fought to protect their homes from the threat of fire.
Backburning operations were underway for most of the day, with flames at one point less than 10 metres from Anna Fordyce's home.
"The firefighters are doing an excellent job," she said.
"They need more praise in the community. I've lived here for nine years and I've never seen anything quite like this before."
The large scale bushfire ignited on Thursday in Beecher State Forest, teetering across property boundaries due to high winds.
Smoke from the blaze is again spreading across Gladstone this morning.
Wes Grimshaw said that although backburning saw flames encroach 10 yards of his home, the superb efforts of firefighters kept him at ease
. "The boys are doing a great job, they've had it well under control," he said
. "It's going to be quite a spectacular sight tonight watching from my verandah."
The consensus of three neighbouring homes on Lorna Crescent was that the area was in desperate need of burning out, with the last six years of undergrowth providing plenty of fuel.
At 5.30pm last night, control lines were erected far from all residences, with no homes remaining in harm's way.
Acting Inspector of Rural Fire Service QLD Rockhampton Tony Stoud was on the ground monitoring the blaze.
"What we are doing is taking the fire away from structures.
"We have three rural fire crews here now and we are waiting on two more to show up before we take the fire up the mountain, away from powerlines and out to Jim Whyte Way," he said.
"As soon as the wind drops we will begin taking it up the mountain. Until then we will continue to monitor as the fire goes in and ensure all properties are safe and secure."
Beecher and Burua residents are reminded to stay indoors, close all doors and windows and call 000 immediately if emergency assistance is required.