THE blanket of smoke that covered a large part of Ipswich yesterday was blown over from a large grassfire at Ripley.
Several crews of firefighters battled the blaze from Monday morning onwards, facing dry and occasionally gusty winds and boggy conditions on the ground.
The fire was still burning at noon yesterday, with rural crews maintaining a close eye on the charcoaled 70-hectare paddock near the intersection of Ripley Rd and the Centenary Hwy.
Area director for rural operations Inspector Corey Bock said the winds that came through on Monday morning took some firefighters by surprise.
"The humidity dropped very quickly," Mr Bock said.
"We have just had a week of severe frosts which has really changed the fuel.
"Monday was evidence of that."
Mini whirlwinds were picking up embers and spreading the fire yesterday morning.
Gentle south-westerlies sent smoke towards the Booval and Bundamba area.
Although a recent run of frosts had completely dried out the grass and topsoil, firefighters yesterday discovered that just below the surface there was thick mud.
Mr Bock said 10 trucks became bogged in the paddock.
"Luckily we were able to self-recover all but two of them - we'll have to bring in an excavator for those," Mr Bock said.
The closure of the Ripley Rd overpass at Flinders View created further problems for those in charge of keeping the fire under control. Mr Bock was hopeful that calmer conditions yesterday would provide some respite for the region's rural firefighters.