Ellesmere fire under control

Some trees fell victim to the flames, their still-smoking remains dotting the landscape. Pictures: Julian Lehnert 369652_10

A large grass fire at Ellesmere that broke out on Wednesday afternoon, hospitalising one man and threatening several houses, is now finally under control, firefighters report.

The blaze broke out just after 4pm on 25 October, with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service this morning issuing a warning declaration for properties along Kumbia Road, Ellesmere Road and Parker Road as well as the area around Hilltop Drive and Acacia Drive, where the fire started.

Speaking to Burnett Today at the Ellesmere Rural Fire Brigade’s headquarters on Acacia Drive, incident controller Ian Clark said the fire originally started when a man on Hilltop Drive used a powered grinder; a spark kicked up from operating the device likely caused the dry grass in the area to catch fire, after which it quickly spread.

The man was sent to hospital on Wednesday with signs of smoke inhalation after he tried to extinguish the fire before QFES crews arrived at the scene; Mr Clark said that he spoke to the man this morning and confirmed he was once again in good health.

The fire threatened several homes around Hilltop and Acacia Drives at its peak and was later reported to be travelling toward Lilian Avenue, but firefighters brought in heavy dozers to cut through the area’s thick bushland in order to establish firebreaks.

“We’ve put in a couple of fall-back containment lines, we’ve strengthened and are currently strengthening existing containment lines, and are also mopping up and monitoring things,” IC Ian Clark said on Thursday morning.

While the fire is now under control, QFES crews remain on site to completely extinguish the area, as several pockets of smouldering wood and grass could still be seen around the location where the blaze broke out.

The QFES warning for the declaration remains active as of writing, instructing residents around the area to stay informed and await further updates.

QFES urged locals to keep their bushfire survival plans up to date, keep their doors and windows closed, and follow the instructions of any firefighters if needed.