A burnt sign past Netherdale on the Mackay Eungella Rd shows the intensity of the fires.
A burnt sign past Netherdale on the Mackay Eungella Rd shows the intensity of the fires. Zizi Averill

Fire threat eases as recovery begins across Mackay region

THE Mackay region can breathe a little easier as Mackay Regional Council stands down its Local Disaster Management Group after enduring one of the most harrowing bushfire disasters.

As at 12.30pm yesterday, the Local Disaster Management Group was effectively stood down by Mackay Regional Council after the bushfire risk decreased.

Mayor Greg Williamson said conditions had greatly improved throughout the region.

"It's great to see minister Shannon Fentiman in town. That is an indication that from a community perspective we are in recovery, and there is much recovery to be done," Cr Williamson said.

Yesterday, fire crews were still working on five active fire fronts in the region, however Cr Williamson said conditions were looking better.

 

Mayor Greg Williamson talking at the community recovery hub on Tuesday.
Mayor Greg Williamson talking at the community recovery hub on Tuesday. Emma Murray

"We are still working with the rapid-response teams, having a look at what recovery is needed in terms of agricultural issues," he said.

"There are at least 160,000 hectares of burnt area within our council footprint alone, that's a massive amount of land."

On Tuesday there was reportedly one customer without power in the Pioneer Valley area, and Cr Williamson thanked Ergon crews for their service.

The region experienced storms and shower activity on Monday night and Cr Williamson knew of many residents in the valley who were embracing the relief.

"Ergon have done a fantastic job with restoring power to all of those communities," he said.

"We are also very pleased with the response from NBN and the Telstra communications.

"I got a text at about 8.30pm (Monday) night from Tess from the Eungella Challet who said 'it's raining' with a thousand emojis and they were celebrating with the people from the fire service up there.

"This is just the sort of community spirit we need."