The fire front rages on the top of Black Snake Range on Sunday evening. Photo taken from Thorneside Rd, Widgee.
The fire front rages on the top of Black Snake Range on Sunday evening. Photo taken from Thorneside Rd, Widgee.

Fire west of Gympie could be ‘unstoppable’ says resident

AN "UNSTOPPABLE" fire is moving towards properties in the Black Snake Range, southwest of Gympie, according to a resident of the area who called triple-0 a number of times over the weekend.

The bush fire, that was first reported in the Kilkivan area last Thursday, had jumped onto the northern boundary of her property yesterday.

A "Prepare to Leave" bushfire warning was issued for the area today at 11am.

The fire front rages on the top of Black Snake Range on Sunday evening. Photo taken from Thorneside Rd, Widgee.
The fire front rages on the top of Black Snake Range on Sunday evening. Photo taken from Thorneside Rd, Widgee.

It is the second time the fire has worsened.

Yesterday afternoon residents were told to "prepare to leave" at 4.15pm before the fire's rating was downgraded to "stay informed".

But conditions have worsened again, a Queensland Rural Fie Service spokeswoman said.

The fire is travelling in a south-easterly direction and is likely to impact Upper Thornside Rd, Thornside Rd and Threlkeld Rd, the QFRS alert warns.

Rural firefighters, water bombing aircraft and Queensland Parks and Wildlife officers were fighting to contain the fire.

The Black Snake Range resident was one of the volunteers on the ground fighting the fire yesterday.

The fire front rages on the top of Black Snake Range on Sunday evening. Photo taken from Thorneside Rd, Widgee.
The fire front rages on the top of Black Snake Range on Sunday evening. Photo taken from Thorneside Rd, Widgee.

"Right now firefighters are attempting to contain the fire at Threlkeld Rd to stop it entering the top of Black Snake Range," she said.

"Because at the top of there, there are dozens of houses and dozens of people.

"The fire is lapping at the back door of that area."

"It's not travelling quickly, but it is travelling and it's almost unstoppable.

"There are dead trees everywhere

She said in her years at the property she had never seen so many dead gums.

"If it continues it will just get to Wrattens.

"From there it's juts got a free run the entire way along the western range until Kilcoy.

Black Snake Rd grazier Sandra Gilchrist it had been a waiting game so far, and she still did not know how far the fire was from her property.

A blanket of smoke from the fire burning at Black Snake Range, south-west of Kilkivan.
A blanket of smoke from the fire burning at Black Snake Range, south-west of Kilkivan.

"We're probably just as much in the dark as everyone else at the moment," she said.

"The fire is really deceptive."

"It's just like a blanket of smoke this morning and we can actually smell the fire today, which we couldn't yesterday."

She said her family of five were prepared with garden hoses, sprinklers and large water units on their vehicles and were listening for any information they could get.

She said conditions meant there was plenty of fuel for the fire.

"Up the top of Black Snake - where they haven't grazed off in the forestry, there an awful lot of old grass, dead lantana and combustible material.