Bucasia blaze draws huge crowd in dark of night

Royal Sands fire.
Royal Sands fire.

FLAMES leapt over seven metres into the air as concerned neighbours lined Commander St and Royal Sands Blvd in Bucasia last night.

About 6.30pm, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were called to two large grass fires in the area and worked to protect nearby homes late into the night.

Royal Sands estate resident Serena Lynch alerted QFES to the fire, which was burning in scrub land behind the estate, when she got home from work yesterday.

"When I got home the fires were reasonably big,” Mrs Lynch said.

"One fire crew arrived and immediately called for more help.”

While QFES have not determined what caused the blaze, Mrs Lynch said there was a suspicious looking man loitering near the fires when she first called emergency services.

She said he was sitting in a 4WD watching the fires burn and took off when he realised he was being watched.

Mrs Lynch said at it's worst, the fire reached heights of about 7.5m and came quite close to homes. She said countless people lined the street watching the situation unfold.

"It was like a tourist attraction. So many people came to look at it. There were people hooning up and down the street and people walking everywhere,” she said.

"The firies did a really good job. It was close to homes but they got it contained.”

A QFES spokesman said four urban crews and two rural crews worked for five hours to contain two separate blazes.

"One of the fires was about 100m x 100m and the other was 200m x 200m in spread,” the spokesman said.

"Crews were limiting the spread of the fire and also protecting nearby homes.”

By 8.40pm, the spokesman said crews had most of the blaze under control and turned their attention to back burning in the area.

"At 9pm they started back burning to protect the estate,” he said.

"At 10.40pm the fire was burning within containment lines and crews did perimeter checks and doused edges where the fire had flared up.”

The last QFES crew left the scene at 11.20pm but a rural fire team planned to return to the scene today to make sure no flare-ups had occurred.

Topics:  bush fire grass fire mackay fire queensland fire and emergency services

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