Fireys prepare for possible new onslaught
THE relative calm before a potential firestorm is allowing authorities to get a better handle on a bushfire which they are yet to contain north of Noosa.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services acting area commander for the Maroochydore area, Geoff Hunter, said a fire which was burning on Friday afternoon had accelerated very quickly towards homes.
"We had quite strong northerlies," Mr Hunter said.
"It (the fire) moved about four times faster than was predicted it would do.
An incident control centre set up at McKinnon Drive, Cooroibah, was pulled back to Chaplain Park in Noosaville as the firefront advanced.
Mr Hunter said there were about 75 firefighters working on Saturday morning to contain hot spots that had the potential to flare up if the south-westerly wind strengthened or changed direction.
"At the moment, we don't really have an active firefront moving, but we are preparing," he said.
A firespotter helicopter which flew over the area on Saturday morning helped guide crews to hot spots, particularly in an area south of McKinnon Drive.
"We do have crews in there at the moment," Mr Hunter said.
"We have two crews going into this area that they have waterbombed but it appears too logged so it is going to have to be manually rolled over and extinguished with knapsacks and rake hoes."
He said requests had been made for waterbombing planes to help.
Further north, he said crews were focused on a fire burning at John's Landing.
"At Noosa Banks, we have a hot spot," Mr Hunter said.
"We've got three crews patrolling around there.
"We are just getting those hot spots extinguished in anticipation of increased wind or ember attacks."
Mr Hunter said one home in Lake Cooroibah Rd had been damaged by fire and some sheds in Lakeside Drive had been burnt.
He said fire came close to homes in Lakeside Drive without claiming them.
"I wouldn't like to say that (it is contained) but we do have a handle on where the fires are and we are containing those areas.
"However, we have always got that possibility of any ember attack starting up new fires."