Bundaberg community rallies while fire continues

Woodgate fires
QFES Inspector Ron Higgins, Police Inspector and disaster coordinator Pat Swindells, and Mayor Jack Dempsey at a media conference to discuss the fires.

With dry conditions and constant wind changes hampering the efforts of firies, emergency services are advising residents the roads back into Woodgate will remain closed while fire threatens. 

The Bundaberg Region community is rallying to support each other as the Woodgate and Buxton fires continue.

QFES, Bundaberg Police and Mayor Jack Dempsey today fronted media to discuss what's happening in relation to the fires.

QFES Inspector Ron Higgins said the fires were still active and ongoing in the area and, because of dry conditions, were not easy to extinguish.

“Conditions last night changed a little bit to be in our favour but this morning again it has picked up with a weather increase,” he said.

“It’s still an active fire on all flanks.

“Conditions are changing all the time, it is making it quite difficult for us to control.”

Bundaberg Police Inspector and disaster coordinator Pat Swindells said Woodgate Road was still a no-go zone for people trying to get back into the area.

“It’s too dangerous at the moment to let people back in,” he said.

“Last night there were about 200 people who were moving to friends and family and evacuation centres.

“We are not forcing anyone to leave Woodgate, however, if you do leave you won’t be allowed back in.

“Anyone who does leave Woodgate, we are asking to please take any medications with you.”

Insp Swindells said the situation was being evaluated hour by hour.

“With the weather and winds changing, the fire has spread to the north and jumped containment lines,” he said.

“Emergency services have actions in place to try to suppress that fire but we don’t know when the road will be reopened and when it will be safe for people to return home.”

Mayor Jack Dempsey said community resilience was high and he thanked those who had taken extra precautions to stay safe.

“I really want to say a big thank you to all of the volunteers and emergency services working so hard during this time,” he said.

“Also, thank you to the community who are really rallying together. To the people who have self evacuated and made plans to stay with family or friends or in evacuation centres to keep safe.

“We have a lot of spirit in our community and it’s not just in the bottle.”

For the latest information visit Bundaberg Regional Council's Disaster Dashboard or QFES Facebook.