A fire truck speeds past the burnt-off area in Calliope
A fire truck speeds past the burnt-off area in Calliope

Big dry has CQ ablaze

THE GLADSTONE region is ablaze, with local fire fighters stretched to the limit.

Units from Calliope and Mount Maurice attend- ed three fires yesterday in and around the Calliope Crossroads on the Bruce Highway.

A fourth fire was started at Tarcoola Drive on Boyne Island.

A spokesperson for Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) said the region was as dry as a tinderbox and urged people not to light any fires.

One fire was started when sparks from angle- grinding equipment being used by Ergon workers to remove a dangerously positioned light pole ig- nited surrounding grass at the crossroads.

Two fire units were called in to contain the fire. A second fire started several hours later off Weeroona Road where several houses were threat- ened but the blaze was brought quickly under con- trol. The cause of that fire is unknown.

One resident was taken to Gladstone Hospital suffering from burns to his hands and legs. He was discharged early yesterday evening.

The fires follow a weekend of blazes in Tannum Sands, Turkey Beach, Raglan and the area south of Mt Morgan.

A QFRS spokesperson said all the fires were quite large grass fires, with the Turkey Beach fire a particularly nasty one.

Six units from Agnes Water, Rosedale and Captain Creek were called out to the fire on Eurimbula Rd which moved into the Eurimbula National Park.

Tannum Sands was set ablaze yet again with a grass fire being deliberately lit in the area behind the Tannum Sands High School.

Tannum Sands Rural Fire Brigade first officer Greg Hopton said residents were lucky the fire was brought quickly under control given they had to send the urban fire unit out to a motor vehicle accident that occurred at the same time.

"If this amount of fire activity keeps going, our resources will be pushed to the limit particularly if there is more than one incident at any time.''

He warned potential fire bugs the penalties were severe if they were caught lighting fires.

"Even throwing a cigarette butt out the window of your car as you drive along incurs a heavy fine,'' he said.

Fires at Mount Larcom and Mount Morgan last week resulted in power cuts to hundreds of residents, after burning trees fell across conductors.

QFRS assistant commissioner Iain MacKenzie strongly advised people against lighting any fires.

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