Surging fire leaps over highway
AS BLACK smoke billowed across the horizon and fire trucks with sirens howling raced in its direction, it quickly became clear that a blaze that yesterday began earlier as a small grassfire, was now raging out of control.
Sixty-five Queensland Fire and Rescue Service personnel raced to The Glen, just south of Warwick, where the small grassfire had exploded out of control on either side of the New England Hwy.
The blaze swept through three properties and closed the highway for four hours.
The emergency call was made at 12.29pm yesterday and two urban crews from Warwick and 12 rural crews went to the fire.
Fire-fighters tackled the grassfire with containment lines, a council water truck and aerial support.
Affected property owner and member of The Glen Rural Fire Brigade John Skinner said weather conditions had only fuelled the fire.
"The strong winds are what caused the fire to jump the highway and get out of control," Mr Skinner said.
"It is just so dry down here at the moment that the risk of fire was always possible, especially because we didn't get the wet summer we were hoping for.
"It's not finalised yet, but I'd say the fire probably covered 2000 hectares.
"As a result I probably lost about 100 acres of feed, fences, but no livestock that I am aware of. No houses were damaged, but I haven't been to the other properties to check.
"We will continue to patrol around the edges of the fire all night and then will see what happens on Friday."
QFRS inspector for rural operations in the Toowoomba area Col Neal said crews had the blaze under control at 6.30pm.
At the time of going to print the cause of The Glen fire remained undetermined.
The Glen was not the only part of the Southern Downs with fires yesterday. A paddock near Mt Tabor on Yangan Rd, Warwick, also had a grassfire.
The blaze was reported at about 8.45am and two urban fire crews from Warwick went to it.
The fire caused no damage to houses or other buildings.