‘We’re fireproof now’: How firefighters saved beach village
FIREFIGHTERS are this morning carefully monitoring an area still smouldering to the south of Teewah ahead of an expected return of strong winds which could reignite the blaze.
Residents spent most of last night in their cars on the beach before finally being given the all clear about 3am that it was safe to return to their homes.
Teewah Rural Fire Brigade first officer Clay Stjernvist said about 78 volunteer firefighters and Queensland Parks and Wildlife officers helped battle the blaze as fears grew that mounting winds would drive it straight into the village.
Mr Stjernvist said the fire, which had jumped the Noosa River earlier in the day from Johns Landing, had eventually come out onto the beach 2km south of Teewah.
He said firefighters had back burned 1.5km south of the village and to the southwest to protect it from a western flank to the blaze.
"It worked perfectly," Mr Stjernvist said. "The fire died when the two met."
Firefighters will work throughout today monitoring a section south of the village that they hope to blacken out to ensure no embers are sparked by strong north-easterly to north-westerly winds.
Mr Stjernvist said much of the canopy had also been burned, while the fire risk from bush to the north and northwest of the village had been contained by fires in September.
Resident Lindsay Dines said flames had come within 100m of homes on the southside of the village.
He said a hillock that had burned four years ago had provided a fire break which steered the flames away from the most southerly homes.
"We were very fortunate the south-easterly (yesterday) had as much east in it as it did," Mr Dines said.
"We're fireproof now for the next decade in all directions."
Winds were gusting to 44km/h at Double Island Point at 7.30am and have not dropped below 39C since 11am yesterday.
Light winds are expected throughout today before temperatures rise to the mid to high 30Cs on Friday with north-easterly to north-westerly winds gusting to 30km/h.