Judy and Alan Say with their dog Sasha at the Yandaran QCWA hall.
Judy and Alan Say with their dog Sasha at the Yandaran QCWA hall. Mike Knott BUN291118YAN2

Winfield residents: We were ready for floods, but not a fire

WINFIELD residents Judy and Alan Say were busily doing their weekly shop in Bundaberg when they got the emergency text to evacuate as a fast moving fire headed toward their home this morning.

The warning said a large and unpredictable fire was travelling in southerly direction towards the Winfield community, north of Bundaberg.

They couple rushed home to pack their possessions and take shelter in the near-by community of Yandaran.

"We had just checked out of the supermarket and I thought 'oh no, my frozen stuff and oh my dog is at home'," Mrs Say said.

"I just panicked and tore straight home.

"The police were at the crossing and said I had10 minutes to grab what I could and put my frozen stuff away.

"I said what do I take? He replied 'nothing'.

"And he was right, stuff is replaceable, but human life - you won't get that back."

Winfield is a community known for its older retired residents and as a precaution they were told to evacuate as soon as possible.

The CWA Yandaran Hall was opened up to families and their pets.

Mrs Say said they had been watching the warnings and had seen the smoke over the river from the Baffle Creek fires for some days.

Mr Say is deaf and partially blind, but he and Mrs Say seemed optimistic.

"Nature is a funny thing and you really can't tell what is going to happen," Mrs Say said.

"We've been watching it for a week and we thought we would be right.

"We are flood ready, but not fire ready.

"It's a learning curve and now when we go home we will pack a box with all of our important documents and items in it." The grandmother-of-14 said they moved to Winfield as her husband's hearing deteriorated to retire as they liked the easy lifestyle and Mr Say enjoyed being away from the hustle and bustle.

She said she had a feeling in her bones the Winfield homes would be safe and the residents would be back in their homes by nightfall.

"I always get feelings about things and I can feel that we will all be okay," Mrs Say said.

"We will be home by 7pm so I won't miss Home and Away."

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