'Rest in peace mate': Bushfire tragedy shocks CQ community
THE death of Rolleston man George Bird in a bushfire tragedy on Friday night, has been described as a "devastating" loss for the Central Queensland community.
Tributes are flooding in for the 21-year-old after he was killed when a tree he was cutting for a fire break fell on him at a property on O'Brien's Rd near Rolleston.
Central Highland's Mayor Kerry Hayes said Mr Bird's death was devastating for the Rolleston and CQ communities.
"This was an energetic young person showing tenacity and commitment to saving his family's property in the face of an emerging serious bushfire situation, and he's lost his life," the mayor said.
"Again, I can't express enough how genuinely affected we all are by this tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends throughout the difficult days ahead.
"I know I speak, not only on behalf of my fellow councillors, but for the local Rolleston community and every person in this region when I say how deeply moved we are by this tragedy and how profoundly sad we feel for the man's family and friends.
"We hear all too often how tough life on the land is and the events of this week have bought this fact into sharp focus."
The small regional community of Rolleston has been left reeling after news of Mr Bird's death, with one person taking to social media to say; "Rest in Peace George, you'll be so missed buddy."
One post read; "Rest easy Birdy, thoughts going out to the Bird family and Rolleston community."
One young woman said; "This is absolutely terrible! Sending so much love to the Bird family."
Another said; "Rest in peace you beautiful soul you will always hold such a special place in my heart."
Other friends of Mr Bird have shown their shock and grief on social media with one young man saying; "One of the best blokes I have ever met. Rest in peace mate."
Another friend of Mr Bird expressed his sadness over the news saying; "Stay safe kids, life is too unpredictable. Rest east mate, will see you for a beer one day."
Many of Mr Bird's friends expressed their sadness, saying he died too young.
"Gone way too soon, rest easy George," one said.
"Rest easy Birdy. Gone way too soon," said another.
Social media has been flooded with tributes for the young man, with many hailing Mr Bird a hero.
"Such bravery has caused such a tragedy," one person wrote.
With another commenting; "May you rest in peace young hero. Died while protecting people and property from wild fires."
Queensland Police said emergency services were called to the property around 7.30pm Friday night after Mr Bird had been attempting to cut a tree with a chainsaw when the tree fell and trapped him.
When emergency services arrived at the scene, Mr Bird was pronounced dead.
Three other men were reportedly with Mr Bird when the incident occurred and tried to assist him.
Cr Hayes said the council was supporting the region's residents and fire fighters throughout the bushfire emergency.
"For every one of the trained and skilled fire fighters and emergency personnel on the ground right
now in this region there is a property owner, a son, a daughter, an employee, a neighbour, and a
friend all pitching in to fight the frightening force of nature that a bushfire is," he said.
"I want them all to know that we-the council and all the emergency services authorities-have their
welfare at the absolute forefront of our operations. We are providing every support we can muster
and have numerous technical and physical eyes on every situation in this region.
"I want to thank everyone, from sandwich makers and water carters to machinery operators and
frontline fire fighters, for your courage and commitment."