ROLLING IN: Rural Fire Service crews from around the Wide Bay went to help fight the Woodgate fire last night.
ROLLING IN: Rural Fire Service crews from around the Wide Bay went to help fight the Woodgate fire last night. Contributed

Fire threatens home while vet performs emergency c-section

A WOODGATE couple had to make a gut-wrenching decision to either protect their home from a raging fire or to save a mother dog and her puppies last night.

Vet Jason Wyeth and wife Julia Sands-Wyeth were in Childers performing an emergency c-section on the dog when they received a phone call from fireys telling them to get home as their property and their own animals were under threat.

The fire in the Burrum Coast National Park had taken a turn for the worse, and emergency services to sent out an immediate warning telling residents to prepare to leave.

But, selflessly, the couple said it was clear they had to focus on the task at hand and hoped for the best at home.

"The call came in and the fireys said to come home and get ready to evacuate and get all the animals out," Mrs Sands-Wyeth said.

Neighbours also phoned to let them know the fierce fire was moving fast and coming close to their properties.

After the operation was successfully completed, they headed home to find fireys around the property armed with hoses and ready to protect the structures.

As they approached Woodgate they could see a red glow - Mrs Sands-Wyeth described it as "eerie, intense and surreal".

"There was this large red glow when we came in to Woodgate about 8pm," she said.

"The firefighters were at our home before we were - five trucks, all set up with preventions in place."


Julia Sands-Wyeth with husband Jason Wyeth and son Lauchlan at the Mammino opening on Saturday. BIT soc(h) 0710. Photo:GARY HUTCHISON.
TOUGH CHOICE: Julia Sands-Wyeth with husband Jason Wyeth.

Mrs Sands-Wyeth said the news wasn't as good for one of her neighbours.

The cattle grazier lost all of the pasture on his cattle property but she wasn't sure if he'd lost any cattle at this stage.

Living in the area for 15 years, the couple is used to fires going through the national parks, but Mrs Sands-Wyeth said it had never been so extreme and so close to home.

This morning Mrs Sands-Wyeth said she had mixed emotions and she had her husband were waiting to see what the day would bring.

"We've had regular fires at Kinkuna - but not like this, this is more harmful to homes," she said.

"At the moment it's the shock value of it all.

"We are half packed to leave, but also don't feel like it is happening."

Mrs Sands-Wyeth drove to Bundaberg this morning and said being only 30km away made it feel as though the situation at Woodgate wasn't real.

"There are no obvious signs of what's happening from Bundy," she said.

"My thought pattern needs to be that it is still going to get worse so I need to be ready."

Last night, the moment they received the call while someone's beloved dog was on the operating table was hard enough for the couple.

Mrs Sands-Wyeth thanked the fireys and said words were unable to express how grateful she was.

It was also good news for the dog, who delivered four healthy puppies.