Rain ‘icing on the cake’ after town fights back flames
THE welcome sound of rain on the roof helped those who had fought back the flames around Fraser Island's township of Happy Valley sleep soundly on Tuesday night.
Elspeth Murray from the Happy Valley Community Association said the 28mm of rain that had fallen were the icing on the cake after a long day in which firefighters and residents came together to save the township.
"It was the most lovely sound," she said.
"We've also had a couple of showers this morning."
While Fraser Coast residents willed the rain to soak into the scorched earth of Fraser Island, most of those who had spent the day fighting the fire were in bed.
Others were fighting the fire at Yidney Rocks and protecting The Oaks, where a warning to leave immediately was issued by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services last night.
QFES Assistant Commissioner Gary McCormack had contacted the residents who had remained and the firefighters, who had stood shoulder to shoulder to fight back the blaze.
He told them their town was still here today because of the work they had done.
With residents clearing debris, preparing homes and clearing gutters, fire crews were free to complete backburning missions and defend the perimeters of the town.
"The community really worked together to defend this town," she said.
But there had always been a plan in place in case the town was overwhelmed - those remaining were brave, but well prepared, Ms Murray said.
Rural fire crews from across the Fraser Coast had contributed to fighting the fires on the island, she said.
"We owe them so much," she said.
"They been a part of our community."
The threat to Happy Valley is now "basically over", Ms Murray said.
But warnings are still current for other parts of the island, including Kingfisher Bay Resort, The Oaks and Yidney Rocks.
Ms Murray said the downpour was a bonus, but about six inches of rain was needed to completely extinguish the fires.