Council

Bundamba, North Booval residents return home after bushfire threat

Updated 7.50pm:

Police have revoked an exclusion zone due to bushfires this afternoon at Bundamba and North Booval. 

People in the area were at about 2pm this afternoon told to leave their homes as a dangerous situation emerged. They are now able to return.

Police thanked residents for their patience.

Updated 7pm:

An exclusion zone remains in place for Bundamba and North Booval. Residents who are unable to return to their homes are advised to make other plans until further notice from Queensland Police Service.

Updated 6pm:

Many cars are waiting to get back into their Bundamba and North Booval homes after a bushfire warning was changed to “WATCH AND ACT”.

Firefighters are ensuring the area is safe before opening roads to the areas at risk.

Please note, the refuge centre will remain open to allow people to wait in safety.

Earlier …

Ipswich City Council has opened a refuge centre at Ipswich Showgrounds Reception Centre for people who have this afternoon (Saturday) had to evacuate their homes amid a serious bushfire threat.

The centre is a safe place to wait and receive updates from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. For those needing to use the refuge, it is on the corner of Salisbury Rd and Warwick Rd. There is food and drink at the refuge.

As at 2.10pm, residents in Bundamba and North Booval were told to leave the area immediately.

The council’s interim administrator Greg Chemello urged residents to heed advice from authorities, including fire fighters and police.

“We are in a heatwave, and fires can move very quickly. This is a serious threat,” Mr Chemello said.

“As always, we thank the emergency service workers for the marvellous work they do, putting their lives at risk in times of need.

“Residents from a safe council refuge will get the latest information and updates, so for now the Ipswich Showgrounds is the most sensible place to be with their families.”

Some people are already offering to help.

“Council has received multiple offers of help from the community including for the supply of food, water, their time and homes to accommodate displaced persons,” Mr Chemello said.

Volunteers are not required at the refuge centre. However, donations of food, items, monetary or corporate assistance can be directed to GIVIT via their Website: http://www.givit.org.au/ or email corporate@givit.org.au.

Residents and visitors to the area can continue to keep up to date with progress of the incident via:

o   QLD Fire and Emergency Services, newsroom website: https://newsroom.psba.qld.gov.au/, or Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/QldFireandEmergencyServices/

o   Ipswich City Council’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IpswichCityCouncil/ or Emergency Management Dashboard: http://emd.ipswich.qld.gov.au/ (for fire incidents, emergency warnings, information on place of refuge, road status).

o   Radio – ABC 612 AM or River 94.9 FM

o   TV – ABC News 24, other local stations

Residents are urged to keep in contact with neighbours who may not have access to internet,  radio, a telephone, or TV.

And people must not dismiss text messages or landline phone calls from the number 0444 444 444 – this is an Emergency Alert advice issued from the State Disaster Coordination Centre for those in immediate risk.

A number of people have also asked whether pets will be allowed at the refuge. While companion and small animals won’t be permitted in the Reception Centre, they will be allowed inside the showgrounds.

“Pets must remain under their owners’ supervision at all times, provide their own food and water, and clean up after their animals,” Mr Chemello said.

“There are shaded areas under trees for owners to park their cars and sit with their animals on the Warwick Road side of the showgrounds or the carpark outside the Reception Centre. Please do not enter the caravan and camping areas.”

Residents with horses and larger farm animals should call the contact centre on 3810 6666 for advice.

Update 5.30pm (Source QFES):

The bushfire warning level has been adjusted to “WATCH AND ACT”.

QFES advises there is a bushfire in Bundamba and conditions could get worse.

You need to be ready to follow your bushfire survival plan. If you do not have a plan, or intend to leave, you should be ready to leave the area because the situation could get worse quickly.

Currently as at 5.30pm, a fire is continuing to burn in the vicinity of the Warrego Highway in Bundamba. The fire is under control. Crews remain on scene monitoring the area and dampening down hotspots.

This warning applies to people in the area of Bundamba and North Booval, bordered by Bognuda St to the east, Mary St to the south, North Station Road to the west and Warrego Highway to the north. This also includes residents on South Queensborough Parade and the Blue Gum Reserve Area in Karalee.

Source: QLD Rural Fire Service (as at 2.10pm Saturday)

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) advises there is a bushfire in Bundamba and leaving immediately is the safest option, as it will soon be too dangerous to drive.

Follow your bushfire survival plan now. If you do not have a plan, your safest option is to leave immediately if it is clear to do so.

If you cannot leave, identify where you will seek shelter from the bushfire. If you are not in the area, do not return, as conditions are too dangerous.

Currently as at 2.10pm Saturday 7 December, an unpredictable fire is travelling in a northerly direction from White Street towards the Warrego Highway in Bundamba.

People in the area of Bundamba and North Booval, bordered by Bognuda Street to the east, Mary Street to the south, North Station Road to the west and Warrego Highway to the north should leave immediately. This also includes residents on South Queensborough Parade and the Blue Gum Reserve Area in Karalee.

The fire could have a significant impact on the community. A shipping container in the area, containing fireworks, has already exploded.

Conditions are now very dangerous and firefighters may soon be unable to prevent the fire advancing. The fire may pose a threat to all lives directly in its path. Fire crews may not be able to protect your property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door: act now.

Power, water, and mobile phone service may be lost and road conditions may become very dangerous over the next several hours.

People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality.

Residents south of the river should head towards Ipswich and residents north of the river should head further north to the northern side of the Warrego Highway.

Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you believe you are under threat.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
– Listen to your local radio station or visit the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website for regular updates.
– Put on protective clothing (e.g., a long-sleeved cotton shirt, boots with thick soles).
– Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
– If you suffer from a respiratory condition, keep your medication close by.

If you are leaving:
– Secure your pets for safe transport.
– Check for road closures and then advise family and friends of your intended travel route.
– Take your important documents and essential items (e.g., passports, birth certificates, prescription medication, food and water, and protective clothing) when you leave.
– Drive with caution in low visibility conditions.

If you are unable to leave:
– Bring pets inside; restrain them with a leash, a cage, or inside a secure room; and provide them with plenty of water.
– Fill containers such as your bath, sinks, and buckets with water so you have access to drinking water and firefighting water.
– Close windows and doors, sealing the gaps under doors and screens with wet towels to keep smoke out of the house.
– Identify a safe spot to shelter in, which would be a place with more than one exit, preferably inside a brick building, away from windows and doors. The safest spot is the place that will keep you furthest away from the intense heat from the fire. As the fire approaches and passes, the safest spot will change, so be ready to move.

KEEP UP TO DATE BY:
– Following QFES on Facebook (@QldFireandEmergencyServices) and Twitter (@QldFES)
– Staying tuned to your local radio station. Find your local ABC radio station at https://radio.abc.net.au/help/offline and your local commercial radio station at http://www.commercialradio.com.au/find-a-station/queensland;
– Visiting the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map

FURTHER INFORMATION:
– For bushfire preparation tips, visit the RFS website: www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/BushFire_Safety
– For information about road closures, call 13 19 40 or visit www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au

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