UNDER CONTROL: A man helps back-burn a firebreak for the Bloomsbury fire.
UNDER CONTROL: A man helps back-burn a firebreak for the Bloomsbury fire. Gary Considine

District fires contained

AFTER a hectic week for firefighters, the fires at Bloomsbury, Andromache and Conway are now all contained.

Bloomsbury Rural Fire Brigade president Gary Considine said the Cathu State Forest fire at Bloomsbury was yesterday burning within containment lines.

"We've had a little rain and it's looking a lot better,” he said.

"At the moment we've got the fire almost under control.”

Firefighters and landowners worked together to put in a 30km containment line from Bloomsbury to Andromache, which was holding.

Mr Considine, however, estimated about 80-90km of containment lines had been put in during the past week as firefighters battled against weather conditions to hold the fire back.

He said their job was made harder by a lot of dead trees from recent cyclones falling down over the firebreaks that had been put in, and then igniting the fire on the other side of them.

The Rural Fire Brigade is still going to the fire once a day to check on it, but the responsibility for keeping an eye on it has been passed back to local landowners.

Rural Fire Service Mackay area director Andy Houley yesterday said the fire at Andromache had also been held behind containment lines for a couple of days, but was still burning in the MtHector area.

Firefighters there were patrolling the fire three times a day, he said.

The Cathu State Forest fire, which includes both Bloomsbury and Andromache, had burnt 42,8000ha by Wednesday.

About 25mm of rain at Conway on Tuesday night and a water-bombing helicopter on Wednesday helped firefighting efforts in that area.

Members of Conway Rural Fire Brigade and Queensland Parks and Wildlife are still monitoring the fire in the Conway Range, which as of Wednesday morning had burned through 1160ha.

Mr Houley said one hotspot was still burning slowly towards Repulse Creek but firefighters were comfortable with that, and rain in coming days would most likely extinguish it.

Mr Houley and MrConsidine thanked all those who helped with the firefighting efforts.

"We greatly appreciate the donations of time and food and water,” MrConsidine said.

"It makes your job a lot easier when you know you've got someone behind you.”

Mr Houley also shared his gratitude.

"I would like to thank all the members and landowners in the Bloomsbury and Andromache areas for their hard work, and all the other volunteers from the Whitsunday area who came to help,” he said.

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