The chairman of the volunteer firefighters group warned that with dozens of bushfires raging throughout the state and little sign of rain in the near future, Queensland is in “survival mode.”
Four hours west of Brisbane, on the Western Downs, firefighters put out a blaze that had burned 53 homes and killed two people. However, there have been new fires to the north and south, and on Wednesday there were emergency alerts for a fire on the Southern Downs between Warwick and Stanthorpe.
According to Justin Choveaux, general manager of Queensland’s Rural Fire Brigades Association, there are hundreds of “little fights” among firemen every day along bushfires.
“At the moment, Queensland is in survival mode,” Choveaux stated. “The state will continue to burn if it doesn’t rain.”
Firefighters from New Zealand and volunteer teams from Victoria have been redirected from Tara to Warwick in order to combat bushfires that pose a danger to residential areas.
“Volunteers came here to help us for free, leaving their homes and villages in Victoria behind. How come? We will travel down there in the event of a major crisis, Choveaux stated. “That is about as Australian as it gets.”
Since it first began to burn a few weeks ago, the Tara fire has spread to include almost 24,000 hectares.
According to spokesman, their main goal is to allow locals to return to their secure homes.
The spokesperson stated, “The weather is looking favourable over the next week, but crews will continue to monitor the bushfires over the coming days to ensure there are no reignitions.”
Last week, when the fire threatened the Tara township, hundreds of evacuees were transferred from Tara to nearby Dalby, which is one hour east. Only a few dozen individuals are still at the Dalby showgrounds, where over 300 people sought shelter over the weekend.
The majority have gone back to their hometowns or made accommodations with friends, while some have been placed in town motels by the housing authority. The Australian Hotel in Dalby has a manager who told Australia, “Heaps of our rooms are filled with people from Tara.” Additionally, a large number of fire personnel had visited for lunch.
Not every individual has left. David Wigfull and his spouse choose not to follow the QFES’s recommendation to vacate their secluded bush land west of Tara.
“There aren’t any bloody fires around here, despite the few times we were told to evacuate,” Wigfull remarked on Wednesday morning.
“We’re hoping against hope that nothing bad occurs. To make a broader firebreak, I had a friend come over and bulldoze quite a few trees around our property.
Fearing looting, Wigfull declared that he “probably won’t take any notice of the warnings” if the fire breaks out.
He declared, “I’m not giving anyone the opportunity to come to my place and steal all my shit.” “It is not possible for me to begin again.”
On Tuesday, Queensland police superintendent Mick Thesfield informed reporters that there had been three instances of looters stealing from evacuated residences in the region.
Thesfield expressed disappointment about the offenses occurring “while people have experienced property damage and while they have been unable to secure their property.”
He claimed that although tools, fencing supplies, and a car have been reported taken, no charges have been filed yet.
Those severely impacted by fires can now receive disaster recovery payments of $1,000 for adults and $400 for children, in addition to grants of up to $5,000 for those who have lost uninsured property.
A truck full of donated goods, including toys, clothes, and tents, left for Tara on Wednesday, according to Narrelle Monaghan, manager of a Lifeline store in Dalby.
“Organizing the donations to go in the right direction has been a huge undertaking,” she stated. “You can’t even begin to imagine how horrible it would be.”