Landholders burning pastures to stop CQ bushfire
CENTRAL Highlands fire crews, landholders and residents were expecting to stay up late last night on watch duty with an overnight low of only 27C.
Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes said fires had burned at Carnarvon Gorge and Blackdown Tablelands for weeks, but had flared up due to catastrophic conditions in the past 10 days, in particular Wednesday's extreme heat and winds.
Cr Hayes said there had been small fires in the national parks prior to Wednesday, but since then, fire had caused significant damage, including to resorts in the Carnarvon Gorge valley, plus over 30,000 hectares had burnt in Carnarvon and 60,000 hectares at Blackdown.
"Those Wednesday winds carried it (fire) down into the valley where the resort areas are," he said.
Cr Hayes said some of the accommodation was burned and it lost power for four days, but it was back on again by yesterday.
He said the fire in Blackdown along Expedition Range - which runs north to south between the Capricorn and Dawson Highways - was "substantially on fire" with concerns for landholders on the east and west sides of the range.
Cr Hayes said the "fluky wind changes" were everyone's big concerns.
He said with the drought, any pasture loss at this time of year would be difficult.
"They (landholders) are burning their own pastures to stop the fires," he said.
"It's just awful awful conditions at the moment."
The forecast for Central Highlands today is to reach a maximum of 42C with 36C expected by 10am.