Smoke plumes over Emu Vale, where firefighters struggled to save homes.
Smoke plumes over Emu Vale, where firefighters struggled to save homes.

Fireys save Emu Vale homes from destruction

FIREFIGHTERS saved eight homes from destruction during a "direct attack" on the Swanfels fire this week.

The vegetation fire began on September 29 and gradually spread across the range to Emu Vale, Carneys Creek and Moogerah.

It was touch-and-go for the 12 men stationed up on Upper Emu Creek Rd on Tuesday night as flames came "right up against the houses there," according to Regional Manager for the Rural Fire Service Tim Chittenden.

"During the peak of the bad weather on Tuesday a number of structures came under threat of fire," Mr Chittenden said.

"Crews worked hard to defend them."

For six, long hours, three crews stood directly in front of the fire, using hoses to push it back into inaccessible land.

"It was difficult to find water out there, as it is to find water anywhere at the moment," he said.

"We had a number of extra vehicles brought in with additional water, but we didn't end up using too much."

Minor damage was reported to garden sheds and chicken coups but homes and livestock remained untouched.

"That's as close as it's gotten to destroying property at Swanfels," Mr Chittenden said.

"It's been a real challenge because the fire is mostly burning in inaccessible country so we have to monitor it, and as it pokes its head out in different places we have to quickly do a bit of work with it before it goes back into the hills again."

It is for this reason the Swanfels fire warning has remained at 'ADVICE' level for upwards of three days.

"We expect it to continue as it has for a while," Mr Chittenden said.

"But hopefully rain might subdue it enough to put it out."

QFES advises residents to keep up to date and decide what actions they will take if the situation changes.



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