Troops arrive to relieve fire crews as danger heightens
FIREFIGHTERS are bracing for more tough days ahead with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting temperatures in the mid-30Cs and hot, dry winds gusting to more than 30km/h.
The BOM has warned the west to north-westerly winds ahead of a surface trough were expected to produce severe fire dangers over the Darling Downs, Granite Belt and southeast coast districts.
More than 1000 volunteer and professional firefighters, national parks and wildlife officers and police have worked on the Cooroibah, Teewah, Tewantin fire that has burned for just on a week.
Some relief for fire fighters was arriving to help with crews coming in from Tasmania and New Zealand.
Acting Rural Fire Services area director Andrew Allan said 10 rural units and six urban crews were on the ground at Noosa in case of flare ups this afternoon when winds were expected to increase to northerly gusts to 35km/h.
He was expecting a tougher day on Wednesday.
"It all comes down to what happens this afternoon," Mr Allan said. "It will still not be very good for the rest of this week and through Sunday and Monday."
Mr Allan confirmed that the auxiliary and rural brigade firefighter who suffered a compound fracture during Friday night at Cooroibah had undergone an operation.
The man in his late 30s was now recuperating at home.
He said the Sunshine Coast declared cool burn period, which started at the end of April each year, had been delayed due to a lot of rain.
"The window got smaller and smaller," Mr Allan said.
"It wouldn't burn, until the conditions meant we couldn't burn.
"During the hazard reduction window, the vegetation was too wet and then too quickly it became too dry."
Rural brigades ultimately were able to get through most of the burn they had targeted, then seized a couple of other opportunities as favourable conditions presented.
Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington has taken to social media to defend his organisation against claims it failed to initiate controlled, preparatory burns before the start of the fire season.
He said Noosa Council had a regime for controlled or "cool" burns on land it controlled.
"What's more we work closely with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, so that everyone is aware when and where burns are happening," Cr Wellington said.
"The fire over the last week began on private land, moved to state-controlled national park land, and then went back to private land.
"This is land outside of council control for preparatory burning."
He said those burns did not have significant impact on fires that occurred during severe and extreme conditions because while they removed potential fuel from the ground, they did not burn tree tops.
"During severe fire conditions, as in Cooroibah on the weekend, the fire rips through the entire bush, including the tree tops," Cr Wellington said.
"No amount of preparatory burning could prevent this."
Cr Wellington labelled the suggestion a particular fire could have been prevented by a preparatory burn as absurd.
"The state and council can't burn every piece of vegetation in the shire, otherwise there would be no wildlife," he said.