Brigades battle fires as properties threatened

Rural firefighter Allan Gorrey keeps the flames at bay.
Rural firefighter Allan Gorrey keeps the flames at bay.

AN accident is believed to have started the massive fire out on the Gladstone Benaraby Road yesterday.

Properties were under threat as 10 units from Calliope, Mt Maurice, Benaraby, Gladstone and Tannum Sands battled the blaze.

A further five units from both the urban and rural brigades at Gladstone and Tannum Sands were on standby last night.

The fire started around midday and strong winds quickly moved the blaze into the Woodstock area behind the Benaraby Gladstone Road opposite the boat ramp.

It is believed the fire started from a slasher being used to cut grass in the area.

A spokesperson for Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) said strong winds were a problem in getting the blaze under control.

Once again firefighters have asked for people to be extremely careful.

'The area is tinder dry and, combined with the strong winds we are currently experiencing, the outcome from lighting a fire could be disastrous,' he said.

Firefighters recommend property owners put a 50 metre fire break around their houses, keep water and pumps close by and put in five metre dirt firebreaks on their properties.

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FILE PHOTO: Dave Hodgson from Mount Maurice Rural Fire Brigade in 2011.

The fire caused significant smoke across the highway.

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