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Coast bushfire has burned for two months near homes

AFTER THE FIRE: Swampland near Coolum in the wake of the January fire. The swamp is brown and still smoking.
AFTER THE FIRE: Swampland near Coolum in the wake of the January fire. The swamp is brown and still smoking. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Se

A BUSHFIRE that broke out in the Coolum Beach area in January, threatening homes in Coolum and Peregian Springs has continued to burn.

Nearly two months after emergency services battled the blaze for days before bringing it under control, residents continued to report smoke as the fire smouldered in swampland.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Superintendent James Haig said area where the fire continued to burn had "quite peaty" soil, which caused the fire to burn slowly, and made it hard to extinguish.

Rain in the area has reduced the risk of the fire erupting again, but Supt Haig said a longer-than-usual fire season being experienced now would likely be followed by a dryer-than-normal season ahead.

"It's been a long and extended fire season and I think we're prudent to keep planning for that," he said.

 

New growth returns to the swamp.
New growth returns to the swamp. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Se

Supt Haig will join representatives from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, the Sunshine Coast Council and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service at public information sessions public at Coolum State School tonight and Peregian Springs State School on March 29.

The forums will arm residents with the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe if a bushfire occurs, and explain how QFES and partner agencies manage the local bushfire risk.

 

The fire forced evacuations from Peregian Springs homes.
The fire forced evacuations from Peregian Springs homes. John McCutcheon

Supt Haig said it was important Coolum and Peregian Springs residents knew the bushfire threat in the area was ongoing, and what to do so they could act quickly if a fire broke out.

"We want people to understand how to prepare a bushfire survival plan, how easy it is to do and the sort of actions you might take," he said.

Despite living in beach-side suburbs, Supt Haig said bushfires were a real threat to residents on the Sunshine Coast.

"We don't see it that often but when it does happen it can be really scary, but making a bushfire plan is easy to do and you have a much better chance of survival if your house should be impacted," he said.

 

Three weeks after the Coolum fire and some rain, things are green again.
Three weeks after the Coolum fire and some rain, things are green again. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Se

SEQ Fire and Biodiversity Consortium Manager and fire ecology expert Samantha Lloyd said it was essential residents understood how a bushfire could affect them.

"Dangerous fire weather conditions are likely to worsen with climate change, so it is essential residents have the information they need to reduce the threat of bushfires in their area," she said.

"This event will equip attendees with vital bushfire preparation information and help them understand what they can do to help fire agencies, land managers and local governments prepare for and respond to bushfires in their area."

Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. For information phone 0438 008 668.

Topics:  bushfire coolum beach coolum fires peregian springs queensland fire and emergency services


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