ON SCENE: Eight RFS crews remain at the scene of the large vegetation fire. Picture: Zizi Averill
ON SCENE: Eight RFS crews remain at the scene of the large vegetation fire. Picture: Zizi Averill

Firefighters battle threatening Southern Downs bushfire

FIREFIGHTERS have been battling a large bushfire near Stanthorpe for nearly 24 hours, with residents warned to remain on high alert.

Rural Fire Service crews were first called to the vegetation fire in Nundubbermere near Winkler Rd, about 20km southwest of Stanthorpe, at midday yesterday.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said the blaze reached its largest size of five to 10 acres at about 2.30pm yesterday, with all landowners then told to evacuate or follow their bushfire survival plan at 4.30pm.

“Crews were working to refresh the fire breaks already there with heavy machinery, so tractors and bobcats, that belonged to local landowners,” the spokeswoman said.

“They were also doing some water bombing with QFES aircraft yesterday.”

RFS crews’ efforts to contain the blaze soon paid off, with the bushfire warning downgraded to “prepare to leave” at 8pm, and again to “listen to advice” at 4.20am this morning.

Eight rural fire units remain at the scene this morning, who a QFES spokeswoman said would focus on preventing further damage to Winkler Rd and the surrounding bushland.

“They’re using some aircraft for water bombing this morning, and they’re hoping to have other aircraft on scene at about 9am to strengthen containment lines,” she said.

The cause of the bushfire is unknown at this stage, though the weekend’s dry and extremely hot conditions likely contributed.

The most recent QFES warning urges residents to minimise smoke exposure, stay hydrated, and establish a bushfire survival plan to keep all people and pets safe if the situation escalates.

Find QFES warnings on their Facebook page, Twitter (@QldFES), or their website.

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