There's a bushfire in the forest to the southwest of Crystal Waters. It's been burning since Sunday. The heat and wind over the past couple of days has brought it closer to homes. It hasn't been this dry here for over a decade.
Our local rural fire brigade is working so hard to keep it at bay and now has support with many other teams and an aerial crew. Thick smoke fills the valley.
Helicopters have been brought in to help fight the fire near us - collecting water from the neighbouring dairy farm's mega dam.
Twenty-one Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews are on scene at a large vegetation fire burning near Jimna Bellthorpe Road, Bellthorpe (north of Woodford). Firefighters are working with water bombing aircraft to contain the fire, which has been burning since Sunday. There is no threat to property at this time, however a smoke haze is likely to affect the Crystal Waters township and surrounds. Motorists are advised to drive with caution and to conditions. Residents should close windows and doors and keep medications close by if they have a respiratory condition. If residents are concerned their property is under threat, they are advised to call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
The closeness of the fire has got us talking together as a family about our bushfire plan. It's always good to revisit it regularly so we know what to do, and to help the kids feel less anxious.
From a landscape planning perspective, in doing a permaculture design for our place, we did consciously design for a bushfire event - it's an inevitability in the Australian bush. The village too was designed with bushfire in mind. Between the main fire sector and our house is a large open area, a dam and also a windbreak of low-flammable species. We also try to keep the grass and leaf-fall to a minimum close to the house. The southwest corner of our house is also made of non-flammable materials. There is also a fire hydrant in front of our place that has high pressure fed from high tanks. By designing your property well and thinking about this in advance, you and your family are much safer and/ore ready in bushfire events.
We've been reviewing our water situation too. The Mary River which runs along the north boundary of the village has pretty much stopped flowing. We get our garden and laundry water from its tributaries which thankfully are still running. Our main drinking water tank however is as low as I've ever seen it. Thankfully we have two more large tanks uphill that we can syphon from. If we don't get rain in the next few days, we'll be transferring this water from the upper tanks.