‘Like Doomsday movie’: Residents return after bushfire hell
RESIDENTS of a Darling Downs community have returned to their fire ravaged properties as Queensland continues to swelter through a dangerous heatwave.
More than 50 blazes continued to burn around the state yesterday as authorities confirmed two homes and eight structures were lost in a bushfire at Millmerran on Wednesday.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned Queenslanders the heatwave would continue into next week, with today and Wednesday bringing the hottest temperatures.
Parts of the South East will peak at eight to 12 degrees above average today and the hot, dry and windy conditions are expected to make things difficult for firefighters.
"We're in the middle of a really hot and dry spell throughout most of Queensland at the moment," meteorologist David Crock said.
"We have quite dangerous fire conditions again today and they'll continue tomorrow (Saturday) with hot dry and windy weather across parts of Southern Queensland which are currently affected by bushfires in various parts."
He said while Sunday will bring some reprieve - with an expected top of 32 - the heatwave will return on Monday and continue for several days.
Firefighters battled a blaze south of Brisbane yesterday that destroyed a shed and scrub in Cornubia.
Jesse Walton was at work when he got the call his house was under attack.
He rushed home along with his father to their Cornubia home on West Coorang Rd to find the shed was burning down.
"The wind dragged the fire down our way and it just lit up," he told the Courier Mail.
The couple hosed down the surrounding area, putting out spot fires while firefighters extinguished the shed blaze.
"Dad lost a fair of his work tools," he said.
"We're definitely worried now with this sparking up.
"We back right onto the bush and we knew it could happen but we didn't think it would."
A firefighter and a police officer nursed a possum in a blanket, dripping water from a bottle to help cool it down, after it ran from the flames. The possum was taken to a vet and treated.
Residents of Cyprus Gardens, part of the Millmerran fire, were allowed back to check on their homes yesterday following Wednesday's blaze.
Elizabeth Clarke, 67, yesterday likened her property to something out of a "doomsday movie" after fire destroyed her two cars and surrounding bush land.
"It's hard to believe when you look around that all these trees are like this now, it's like one of those doomsday movies," she said.
"All I kept thinking was, 'what about my new olive trees, I won't even get the chance to plant them."
She said she was grateful she was alive and her home had survived.
"I survived and I'm here," she said.
"There's no point being upset because it's just stuff and I couldn't have this stuff if I'd died in the fire.
"Next week I'll use my pension to buy a post, and the week after that I'll buy another one. Then one day I'll have enough posts to make the whole fence, it'll be okay."
Queensland Rural Fire Service firefighter Ray Schultze, 68, said it was the worst fire he'd seen.
"This is about as bad as it gets," he said.
"We were in the fire truck and we couldn't drive as fast as the fire was going.
"Most of these trees, if not all of them, will die. The tops of the trees are gone and they don't even resemble trees anymore...It's as if someone has just gone and planted poles."
Only a few metres away from where Mr Schultze had tried to defend a tin property lay a dead horse - due to give birth in a matter of days.
He said it had likely died while trying to run through fences to escape the flames.
Further down Koala Drive, property owners Terry and Elena Quinn, whose car and water tank was destroyed, said their home survived purely by miracle.
"We prayed a lot and just kept hoping it would be okay," Mrs Quinn said.
"But really, it's all just stuff. What's important is that we're okay. Of course you need this to live, but we were prepared to have to buy a new house and new stuff.
"We're blessed and we're grateful. And we're so thankful for the firefighters, they're incredible."