'PERFECT STORM': Firefighter warns of dangerous weekend
ONCE lush bushland has been reduced to a blackened heap of ash and dust after an 80ha blaze tore through land near Tinnanbar.
And Jenny Reinke feared the worst when she saw the plume of thick black smoke rising from the dense forest. The Tinnanbar resident had minutes to grab what she could and flee with her husband to Maryborough before the only road in and out of town was closed.
She was one of dozens urged to prepare to leave as the wild bushfire threatened the small Fraser Coast fishing village on Thursday.
Several letterboxes were wrapped with warning tape to mark areas under threat by the fire.
By 3.05pm yesterday, QFES reported the fire had been contained to the eastern side of Tinnanbar Rd. Crews were backburning in the area and strengthening containment lines for most of the day. No properties were damaged and no one was injured.
But a wary Ms Reinke spent most of yesterday keeping an eye on patrolling firefighters and the faint plume of smoke still burning in the forest area.
"I was pretty frightened. I saw backburning occur right up against our fence line," she told the Chronicle.
"And all the surveillance by fire crews and helicopters has been a bit unnerving. It's hard to relax."
The warm conditions have led fire crews to prepare for potential blazes over the weekend, with conditions to soar to 31 degrees in Hervey Bay and 34-36 degrees in Maryborough.
Ricky Rowland, a Fraser Coast volunteer rural firefighter, said crews were "expecting the worse but hoping for the best".
"Greater fuel loads, high temperatures and low humidity will make the perfect storm," Mr Rowland said.
"We'd urge residents to be vigilant, be prepared and have a plan ready. If anyone sees a small fire they should report it immediately. It could become erratic and out of control in minutes."