LEAVE NOW: Firefighters battle the blaze from the skies.
LEAVE NOW: Firefighters battle the blaze from the skies. Queensland Fire & Emergency Services State Disaster Coordination Centre

Containment strengthened as fires burn across Southern Downs

UPDATE 12.30PM: FIRES across the Southern Downs remain at ADVICE level as crews work to strengthen containment lines today, according to QFES.

The Swanfels fire continues to burn between McMasters Road and Top Swanfels Road in the Swanfels State Forest.

The North Branch is moving within containment lines near Young Rd in North Branch, near Maryvale. 

The Tregony fire has slowed down and is burning to the south of Cross Road, Tregony in the Spicers Peak Nature Reserve. 

The Spicers Peak fire continues to burn to the west of Spicers Peak Lodge, near the Swanfels State Forest and residents are advised it is still not safe to return to this area. 

UPDATE 8PM WEDNESDAY: The Swanfels bushfire has been downgraded to ADVICE level, as furious winds have left the Rose City blanketed in smoke. 

Treacherous weather has reduced visibility across Warwick and significantly reduced the air quality. 
Fire crews have been tirelessly battling the blaze burning at Spicers Peak Nature Reserve towards Top Swanfels Rd after it was upgraded to a PREPARE TO LEAVE level at 4.50pm this afternoon. 
Firefighters will remain on the scene overnight. 

The downgrade comes as the State of Emergency issued across the state earlier this month has been lifted in 36 of the 42 local government areas. 

The declaration, which was made in response to the escalating bushfire risk gripping Queensland, banned activities including the use of power tools, barbecues and naked flames outdoors. 
The State of Emergency remains in the Southern Downs, Toowoomba, Lockyer Valley, Somerset, Ipswich and Scenic Rim areas. 

No properties are under threat by the Swanfels fire at this time but anyone who is concerned their property will be impacted should call Triple-0 (000) immediately. 

UPDATE 4.50PM WEDNESDAY: THE Swanfels bushfire is now expected to impact Top Swanfels Rd, east of Judge Rd, and the eastern end of McMasters Road, according to QFES.

Wind gusts of up to 35KM an hour continue to push the fire southwest.

The bushfire warning level remains at 'PREPARE TO LEAVE.'

The safest route to evacuate remains Top Swanfels Rd heading west towards Yangan. 

UPDATE 2.30PM WEDNESDAY: A LARGE fire is moving through the Spicers Peak Nature Reserve towards Top Swanfels Rd, according to a new warning from the QFES. 

The bushfire warning level has been upgraded to 'PREPARE TO LEAVE.'

The fire is predicted to travel southwest and is "likely to impact" Top Swanfels Rd, east of Judge Rd.

QFES advises residents need to be ready to follow their bushfire survival plan. If they do not have a plan, or intend to leave, they should be ready to leave the area because the situation could get worse quickly.

Fire crews are working to contain the fire but firefighters may not be able to protect every property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door.

Residents wishing to evacuate are advised to do so by travelling on Top Swanfels Rd towards Yangan.

UPDATE 12PM WEDNESDAY: A VERY high fire danger is present on the Southern Downs today as temperatures near 40C.

More than 15 crews are stationed across the Main Range and Swanfels fire.

Warning level remains at 'STAY INFORMED' for both North Branch and Swanfels fires and no further notices have been issued.

QFES will provide an update when and if the situation changes. 

UPDATE 5PM TUESDAY: THE fire at Swanfels has been downgraded to 'STAY INFORMED' as firefighters and waterbombing aircraft bring the blaze under control.

It continues to move southwest towards Yangan.

UPDATE 4.30PM TUESDAY: RESIDENTS of North Branch are advised it is safe to return to their homes but they must be prepared to leave quickly if conditions change.

The warning level was downgraded to 'WATCH AND ACT' as the fire moves in a westerly direction towards Young Rd.

According to QFES, the fire still presents a significant risk to the community and firefighters may not be able to protect every property.

Firefighters will remain on scene throughout the night monitoring and working to contain the fire.

UPDATE 3.20PM TUESDAY: NORTH Branch residents must follow their bushfire survival plan now as a large and unpredictable fire is likely to significantly impact the community.

The fire is expected to impact Young Rd, North Branch within the next hour.

QFES urges residents to evacuate in a westerly direction along North Branch Rd towards Maryvale.

Those who have already left the area should not return, as conditions are too dangerous. 

Fire crews are working to contain the fire but firefighters may not be able to protect every property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door. Power, water, and mobile phone service may be lost.

People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality.

Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you believe you are under threat.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
• Listen to your local radio station or visit the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website for regular updates.
• Put on protective clothing (e.g., a long-sleeved cotton shirt, boots with thick soles).
• Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

If you are leaving:
• Secure your pets for safe transport.
• Check for road closures and then advise family and friends of your intended travel route.
• Take your important documents and essential items (e.g., passports, birth certificates, prescription medication, food and water, and protective clothing) when you leave.
• Drive with caution in low visibility conditions.

If you are unable to leave:
• Bring pets inside; restrain them with a leash, a cage, or inside a secure room; and provide them with plenty of water.
• Move flammable materials such as doormats, wheelie bins, and outdoor furniture away from your house.
• Fill containers such as your bath, sinks, and buckets with water so you have access to drinking water and firefighting water.
• Close windows and doors, sealing the gaps under doors and screens with wet towels to keep smoke out of the house.
• If you suffer from a respiratory condition, keep your medication close by.

The other side of the fire front at Swanfels remains at 'WATCH AND ACT.'

UPDATE 1.45PM TUESDAY: CURRENT risk predictions have downgraded the Swanfels fire from 'PREPARE TO LEAVE' to 'STAY INFORMED' after a change in humidity and wind.

QFES public information officer Matthew Mulroney said they received intelligence from the ground that indicated the fire was spreading at a slower pace.

"We do not want to cause undue concern in the community," Mr Mulroney said.

"But people do need to be aware the fire is still there and they need to have their bushfire survival plan ready and keep up to date with warnings."

Mr Mulroney said bushfire survival plans were crucial for moments when conditions change quickly.

"It might sound easy but when people are stressed that's when they forget things," Mr Mulroney said.

"You need to know when you're going to leave and you can't leave that until the last minute - That's when people die."

The fire is still characterised as large and unpredictable.

It is currently heading towards Yangan. 

READ THIS: The heartbreaking fate of the Spicers Peak koalas.

READ THIS: 'Worst in 100 years': Southern Downs firefighters fear for fire season.

UPDATE 12.15PM TUESDAY: THIRTEEN crews are on site battling blazes along the Main Range as they head in a south-westerly direction.

The fire danger increases as the temperature rises, according to QFES public information officer Matthew Mulroney.

"There is certainly an increased fire danger in that area today," Mr Mulroney said.

"These are the same fires that have been around for weeks but weather conditions change and we always want to act on the worst case scenario.

"We don't want anyone getting hurt, so we always err on the side of caution."

The warning level remains at 'PREPARE TO LEAVE' for residents with property around Swanfels and Yangan areas.

According to QFES, the fire is likely to impact areas between McMaster Rd and Top Swanfels Rd, as well as surrounding streets. 

"The fire is currently in the Swanfels State Forest and heading towards Freestone and Yangan," Mr Mulroney said.

UPDATE 10.30AM TUESDAY: FIRE danger is increasing on the Southern Downs today as winds blow the blaze further west.

Two fronts are burning down from the Main Range into the valleys, one at North Branch and the other at Swanfels.

The Swanfels fire, which came within 9km of Upper Freestone and Maryvale yesterday, has been upgraded to 'PREPARE TO LEAVE.'

"Residents really need to start paying attention to what's going on and decide what they're going to do," QFES public information officer Matthew Mulroney said.

"Particularly those who live in properties south of McMaster Rd and the surrounding streets.

"It is certainly something we're watching very closely and we're currently in talks with the local council about how to engage with the local community."

The fire is described as large and unpredictable, so residents are advised conditions could worsen quickly. 

Fire crews will work with  waterbombing aircraft and heavy machinery to bring the fire back within containment lines, but firefighters may not be able to protect every property.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
• Listen to your local radio station or visit the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website for regular updates.
• If you have a bushfire survival plan, finalise it now so you are ready to follow it.
• If you do not have a bushfire survival plan, or if your plan is to leave, identify where you will go if you leave the area.
• Advise family and friends of your plan.
• Close windows and doors to minimise smoke exposure.
• If you suffer from a respiratory condition, keep your medication close by.
• Drive with caution in low visibility conditions.
• Contact your neighbours to see if they need help preparing for the bushfire.
• Pack important documents and essential items (e.g., passports, birth certificates, prescription medication, food and water, and protective clothing) in case you need to leave the area.
• Put on protective clothing (e.g., a long-sleeved cotton shirt, boots with thick soles).
• Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
• Bring pets inside; restrain them with a leash, a cage, or inside a secure room; and provide them with plenty of water.
• Take action to protect your livestock.
• Move flammable materials such as doormats, wheelie bins, and outdoor furniture away from your house.
• Fill containers such as your bath, sinks, and buckets with water so you have access to drinking water and firefighting water.
• Close windows and doors, sealing the gaps under doors and screens with wet towels to keep smoke out of the house.

READ THIS: Main Range fires devastate local business.

READ THIS: Local firefighters say Blue Card drama wastes valuable time.

UPDATE 12:30PM MONDAY: THE Tregony bushfire threat has been downgraded to 'ADVICE' status.

As of 12.05pm, a slow-moving bushfire is continuing to travel from the Spicers Peak Nature Reserve in a westerly direction towards North Branch.

The Cunningham Highway remains closed between Lake Moogerah Rd and the Fisher Park Truck Stop for some time, due to the possibility of falling trees and rocks as a result of the fire.

Fire crews, with support from aerial operations, will continue to strengthen containment lines throughout the day.

People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality.

Properties are not under direct threat at this time.

Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you believe you or your property is under threat.

Keep up to date by following the RFS website of Warwick Daily News

UPDATE 4.15PM SUNDAY: TREGONY bushfire threat still remains high as Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) maintain 'WATCH AND ACT' status.

As at 4pm, a large fire is travelling from the Spicers Peak Nature Reserve in a westerly direction towards North Branch.

QFES advises that the fire is likely to impact North Branch Road, in the vicinity of Young Road.

Fire crews and firefighting aircraft are working to contain the fire but firefighters may not be able to protect every property.

You need to be ready to follow your bushfire survival plan. 

Due to the severe fire danger today, conditions could change quickly so residents should remain up-to-date with warnings. 

People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality.

Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you believe your property is under threat. 

UPDATE NOON SUNDAY: THE bushfire in Tregony remains at 'WATCH AND ACT' as strong winds continue to push the fire in a westerly direction.

The latest update from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) indicates the fire is continuing to travel from the Spicers Peak Nature Reserve in a westerly direction towards Maryvale and Upper Freestone.

There are currently no properties under direct threat, and residents who have evacuated can return to their homes.

Due to the severe fire danger today, residents should be prepared to leave again as the situation could change quickly. 

You need to be ready to follow your bushfire survival plan. 

Fire crews will continue to work with waterbombing aircraft and heavy machinery throughout the day, but firefighters may not be able to protect every property. 

Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you believe your property is under threat. 

UPDATE 8AM SUNDAY: EVACUATED residents in Tregony can now return home, however Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) advises that the bushfire threat is not over. 

The extreme fire danger warning forecast for the Darling Downs and Granite Belt region today will produce dry, gusty southwesterly winds. 

As at 6am, a large fire is continuing to travel in a westerly direction towards areas east of Spicers Gap Road along the Cunningham Highway.

Residents in Tregony should be ready to follow their bushfire survival plan.

If you do not have a plan, you should be ready to leave the area because the situation could get worse quickly.

People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality. 

Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you believe your property is under threat.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

Listen to your local radio station or visit the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website for regular updates.
If you have a bushfire survival plan, finalise it now so you are ready to follow it.
If you do not have a bushfire survival plan, or if your plan is to leave, identify where you will go if you leave the area.
Advise family and friends of your plan.
Close windows and doors to minimise smoke exposure.
If you suffer from a respiratory condition, keep your medication close by.
Drive with caution in low visibility conditions.
Contact your neighbours to see if they need help preparing for the bushfire.
Pack important documents and essential items (e.g., passports, birth certificates, prescription medication, food and water, and protective clothing) in case you need to leave the area.
Put on protective clothing (e.g., a long-sleeved cotton shirt, boots with thick soles).
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Bring pets inside; restrain them with a leash, a cage, or inside a secure room; and provide them with plenty of water.
Take action to protect your livestock.
Move flammable materials such as doormats, wheelie bins, and outdoor furniture away from your house.
Fill containers such as your bath, sinks, and buckets with water so you have access to drinking water and firefighting water.
Close windows and doors, sealing the gaps under doors and screens with wet towels to keep smoke out of the house.

UPDATE 6.30PM SATURDAY: RESIDENTS in Tregony must evacuate immediately as bushfire pushes across the range and into the area.

According to the latest warning from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) conditions are getting worse and those in the area should follow their bushfire survival plan now. 

If you do not have a plan, your safest option is to leave now if it is clear to do so. If you are not in the area, do not return, as conditions are too dangerous.

The fast-moving fire is travelling in a westerly direction towards Tregony.

It is expected to impact Fisher Park Truck Stop, Stacey's at the Gap, and areas east of Spicers Gap Road along the Cunningham Highway.

The fire could have a significant impact on the community.

Fire crews are working to contain the fire but firefighters may not be able to protect every property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door. Power, water, and mobile phone service may be lost.

People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality.

Those evacuating should travel west on the Cunningham Highway towards Warwick.

Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you believe you are under threat.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
• Listen to your local radio station or visit the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website for regular updates.
• Put on protective clothing (e.g., a long-sleeved cotton shirt, boots with thick soles).
• Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

If you are leaving:
• Secure your pets for safe transport.
• Check for road closures and then advise family and friends of your intended travel route.
• Take your important documents and essential items (e.g., passports, birth certificates, prescription medication, food and water, and protective clothing) when you leave.
• Drive with caution in low visibility conditions.

If you are unable to leave:
• Bring pets inside; restrain them with a leash, a cage, or inside a secure room; and provide them with plenty of water.
• Move flammable materials such as doormats, wheelie bins, and outdoor furniture away from your house.
• Fill containers such as your bath, sinks, and buckets with water so you have access to drinking water and firefighting water.
• Close windows and doors, sealing the gaps under doors and screens with wet towels to keep smoke out of the house.
• If you suffer from a respiratory condition, keep your medication close by.

UPDATE 1.15PM: THE fire at Tarome remains at 'WATCH AND ACT' warning level as temperatures reach 37C today.

The latest update says the unpredictable fire is now moving towards Ryan Road, Hinrichsen Road, Simmonds Road and Tarome Road near The Bluff. 

Ground crews with the assistance of waterbombing aircraft and heavy machinery are working to contain the fire, but may not be able to protect every property. 

People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality.

READ THIS: Truckies feel the heat during costly Cunningham closure.

READ THIS: Free BBQ provides relief for exhausted fireys. 

UPDATE 8.30AM: THERE is no end in sight for emergency services as the Southern Downs and Granite Belt region is declared the worst in the state for fire danger today.

The severe fire weather warning means fires at Tarome, Spicers Peak and Mount Alphen will become "challenging" and "unpredictable", according to a spokesman from the QFES.

The Tarome front poses the greatest threat at this time as the warning level remains at 'PREPARE TO LEAVE.'

Firefighters patrolled the areas overnight and more than 24 crews will be on scene this morning.

They will be supported by waterbombing aircraft and heavy machinery.

The fire continues to travel from the Cunningham Highway towards Campsite Road, Ryan Road and Simmonds Road.

It is likely to impact Campsite Road, Ryan Road and Simmonds Road, in the vicinity of the Bluff.

Winds are expected to blow in a west, north-westerly direction today but this can change quickly as fire moves across mountains. 

Conditions are expected to worsen tomorrow as the fire danger warning is upgraded to extreme.

The change is due to a hot, dry air mass moving across from Western Australia, according to BOM meteorologists.

WATCH: Devastating aerial footage shows true extent of Main Range fires.

UPDATE 7.30PM FRIDAY: MORE than a dozen fire crews are on scene battling worsening conditions around the Main Range.

The Tarome front of the Clumber fire is moving fast and unpredictably past the Cunningham Highway towards Campsite Road, Ryan Road and Simmonds Road near The Bluff.

This fire has been upgraded to 'PREPARE TO LEAVE.'

Fire crews are working to contain the fire but firefighters may not be able to protect every property. Residents are advised they should not expect a firefighter at your door.

People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality.

A place of refuge is available at the Kalbar School of Arts at the corner of Ann Street and Edward Street, Kalbar.
Spicers Peak Lodge, Mount Alphen and Moogerah fires remain at 'WATCH AND ACT' warning levels.

UPDATE 9AM FRIDAY: CONDITIONS appear to have improved overnight at the Clumber fires.

Fire danger warnings were downgraded to 'WATCH AND ACT' for the fire fronts at Tarome, Mount Alphen, Clumber and Spicers Peak Lodge.

Six crews are on scene battling the blaze, with another five en route.

The fire continues to move at a slower pace in a southerly direction from Spicers Gap towards Spicers Peak Lodge.

The weather conditions are predicted to worsen today, however, as the danger for the Southern Downs and Granite Belt is upgraded to severe. 

UPDATE 7.30AM THURSDAY: EIGHT crews are on scene this morning as the situation remains unchanged at Spicers Peak Lodge.

QFES advises the fire is at a bushfire warning level of 'PREPARE TO LEAVE' and is burning in a southerly direction from Spicers Gap towards Spicers Peak Lodge. 

It is not expected to impact properties at this time but this could change quickly and those who haven't already left, should be ready to leave..

Other Clumber fire fronts include Tarome and Mount Alphen which remain at 'watch and act' as a very high fire danger warning is put in place across the region. 

EARLIER: FIRE danger warnings advise residents near Spicers Peak Lodge to prepare to follow their Bushfire Survival Plan.

The devastating fire broke through containment lines this morning as it moved in a south-westerly direction from Spicers Gap towards the luxury lodge at Maryvale.

QFES has downgraded the bushfire danger warning from 'LEAVE NOW' to 'PREPARE TO LEAVE.'

As of 10.20am the fire was not directly impacting properties but severe weather conditions mean that could change quickly, requiring anyone remaining in the area to evacuate.

More than nine fire crews are on scene battling fires around the Clumber area and waterbombing aircraft and heavy machinery are being used to contain the blaze.

The Cunningham Highway remains closed due to fire from Lake Moogerah Rd to the Fisher Park Truck Stop in Maryvale, with diversions in place via Toowoomba.

Heavy smoke is expected to affect air quality and visibility in the Southern Downs region.

The next update will become available at 12.20pm or when the situation changes.

READ THIS: 'There is hope': Spicers looks forward to safety.

READ THIS: 'BLEEDING AND SCREAMING': Water accused of burning Southern Downs residents.


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