SMOKED OUT: The smoke from nearby bushfires severely impacts the air quality in Maryvale.
SMOKED OUT: The smoke from nearby bushfires severely impacts the air quality in Maryvale.

Maryvale has 'deserted' feel as mountain burns

THE frightening sight of flames engulfing the nearby mountain sent a number of Maryvale residents running for the hills.

Resident Sandra Williams said the mountain looked like a "volcano" by nightfall.

"It gave me a shock because, oh God, it's over this side now," Mrs Williams said.

"It felt like it was really close."

The upcoming Maryvale Christmas Markets were cancelled due to the mass departure, after residents left to avoid the heavy smoke enveloping the area.

The village has an empty and eerie feel to it, according to resident Sandra Williams

"I spoke to the mail lady and she said it was like the town was deserted," Mrs Williams said.

"There's just no one around."

Those who remain stay indoors, Mrs Williams said.

"If you go outside and breathe that air, even for a little while, you start coughing as though you've had a smoke," she said.

"It can't be good for you."

The haze settles in the valley every morning, a frightening reminder of what lies just 9km away.

"You get up every morning and see the smoke still there and it really starts getting to you," Mrs Williams said.

"It preoccupies everybody's minds, all day, every day.

"When is rain coming? When will the smoke clear?

"It's in your face every day."

But the threat is not as dire as it appears, according to Mrs Williams.

Her husband, a 70 year old volunteer for the Gladfield Maryvale Rural Fire Brigade, told her there are enough fire breaks, containment lines, and cleared paddocks to help the village avoid a fire emergency.

"People get worried when the town gets covered in smoke but really, the fire looks a lot closer than it actually is," she said.

"If there was any danger to Maryvale they'd bring out the waterbombers and they'd sort it out."

Ed. note: Residents of Maryvale reported some townspeople chose to leave the area due to heavy smoke and the proximity of fire. The fire has come within 9km of Maryvale, according to QFES, but there have been no official evacuation orders as of Friday, November 22. Any resident that left the area did so of their own choice. 



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