Firefighters, who worked through the night, patrol containment lines in the early hours of Friday morning. Photo supplied by QFES.
Firefighters, who worked through the night, patrol containment lines in the early hours of Friday morning. Photo supplied by QFES.

Double blow weather conditions heightens fire concern today

PROPERTIES at Thornside near Widgee, where a significant bushfire continues to burn at Black Snake, remain at risk today, officials confirmed this morning.

Firefighters, who worked through the night, patrol containment lines in the early hours of Friday morning. Photo supplied by QFES.
Firefighters, who worked through the night, patrol containment lines in the early hours of Friday morning. Photo supplied by QFES.

A dry north westerly wind change moving in this morning, combined with spiking temperatures this afternoon will deliver fresh challenges for firefighters on the Thornside fire front today, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service inspector Mark Saunders said.

READ HERE: “Leave now”: Warning still current for Widgee residents

A “leave now” warning remains in place for residents in Thornside and Upper Thornside Rds, Mr Saunders said.

Widgee Fires
Widgee Fires

The strong north westerlies, expected to arrive about 9am this morning could push the fire in a south easterly direction towards Thornside, Mr Saunders said.

Firies on the front line near Widgee, earlier in the week. The fire is now contained on the eastern side, but winds and roaring temperatures could make the salutation worse for today.
Firies on the front line near Widgee, earlier in the week. The fire is now contained on the eastern side, but winds and roaring temperatures could make the salutation worse for today.

Conditions for today would be at the worst between 1pm and 6pm, he said.

He said despite this, some residents had chosen to stay and these properties were being watched closely.

A TEAM: Rural firefighters who successfully worked on containment lines to control the bushfire at Black Snake on Wednesday night.
A TEAM: Rural firefighters who successfully worked on containment lines to control the bushfire at Black Snake on Wednesday night.

Fire crews last night patrolled the containment lines protecting the properties at Thornside from the south eastern side of the fire, Mr Saunders said.

Humidity was too high to back burn overnight, Mr Saunders said, but today 15 crews will be working to strengthen containment lines.

Allan Little and Craig Groves from Gympie South Rural Fire Brigade at a fire near Widgee.
Allan Little and Craig Groves from Gympie South Rural Fire Brigade at a fire near Widgee.

The soaring temperatures will drive the fire behaviour today ahead of deteriorating weekend conditions, he said, with 35C forecast for 4pm today.

Tomorrow is predicted to reach 36C and 35C again on Sunday.

“We’re pretty confident now that the situation is controlled – but there is space for things to go wrong

“The concern will be around the weather over the next few days.

He said the key worry is if forecast storms eventuate that bring erratic winds to the region.

Widgee Fires
Widgee Fires

The fire which remains uncontained on the northern edge in state forest, where steep, rugged terrain will not allow machinery access to build a fire break.

“In one section of the fire on the northern end we can’t get dozers in.

“The fire has been left to continue marching north.

“We will be working with Queensland Parks and Wildlife to determine the best way to manage that into the future.

“It’s not pushing on any properties so it’s not the immediate focus.”

He said the vegetation still had some moisture in it in that area, that would keep the fire slow-moving.