Storms in South East Queensland result in lightening strikes in bushland in 18 Miles Swamp starting bushfires on North Stradbroke Island. Starting as a grass fire around 6:30pm in the Blue Lake area, the fire burns for 14 days and burns 60 per cent, or 16200 hectares of North Stradbroke Island.
30 December 2013
Firefighters battled the blaze about two kilometres south of the causeway at 18 Mile Swamp, near Main Beach. Fire bans are put in place. main Beach campers advise to be prepared. Tazi Road east of the golf club and Blue Lake are closed.
31 December 2013
Main Beach is closed to 4Wdrivers due to safety concerns and to allow unrestricted access by emergency services. Straddie Camping commences palns to evacaute campers if conditions worsen.
1 January 214
850 campers are evacuated from Main Beach. Estra vehicle ferries are put on by Stradbroke Ferries to assist with transporting campers back to the mainland. A respote centre is set up in Dunwich by Redland City Council. North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum assist with activities for children as they wait for their departing ferry.
2 January 2014
Reports suggest that fire destroyed three of the evacuated campsites, however this is not the case. Power lines sustain major damage resulting in power outages throught the island. Energex worked to restore the main power supply and ferry over Queensland's biggest generator.
3 January 2014
Spot fires flared up overnight, one near Alfred Martin Way and the other near the Canaipa Passage. Community meetings were held in the townships of Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout to update residents and holiday makres. A fire broke containment lines west of Enterprise Road and south of the airport, prompting a precautionary evacuation of illegal campers near Blakesly Slip.
4 January 2014
Power was lost in all three townships after above ground power poles burned to the ground. Amity Point was the worst affected, also suffering lightening strikes. Areas of Dunwich at Illawong Crescent, Rainbow Crescent, Dickson Way and the Seven Mile S-bend were urged to prepare to relocate to a safer area after strong winds pushed fires towards them. The situation escalated in the late afternoon, when a south-easterly change pushed the fires north towards Dunwich. Residents between Gatumba Street and Beehive Road were evacuated late that night after a fire near Myora broke containment lines.
5 January 2014
Residents evacuated between Gatumba Street and Beehive Road allowed to return to their homes. East Coast Road closed between Dunwich and Amity Point due to fire and thick smoke. Redland City Council advised that non-essential travel to North Stradbroke is not reccomended. Power remains out at Amity Point. Backburning commences to create a buffer zone east of Dunwich.
6 January 2014
East Coast Road opens but motorists experience delays as emergency services work along the road repairing infrastructure. Airport closes to all air traffic due to a smoke hazard. Brown Lake, Blue Lake and Keyholes remain closed. Travel restrictions in place, with Alfred Martin Way to stay closed until further notice
Rain falls and residents, holiday makers and emergency services rejoice thinking the fires are over.
7 January 2014
Rain is not enough to extingiush all fires they remain active. Residents and holiday makers urged to remain vigilant. Brown Lake, Blue Lake and Keyholes, ALfred Martin Way remain closed. Watch & Alert put in place by Queensland Fire & Emergency Services for fire in Myora Springs area. Ferry services reduced due to windy conditions. Straddie Camping advises Flinders Beach and Amity Point campers to be prepared to relocate to safe place if necesary. Fast moving bushfire travels in north-westerly direction towards Myhora Springs. Fire crews successfully protected Myora Springs and Gatumba Street area, and worked throughout the night to strengthen containment lines.
8 January 2014
Crews continue efforts to fight a large bushfire in the vicinity of Brown Lake. Crew monitor fires burning in inaccessible country and strengthened containment lines in the vicinity of Brown Lake. Fire still producing a large smoke haze.
9 January 2014
bombing starts again to help ease fires. Crews continue to monitor and
dampen down hotspots at a fire burning in inaccessible country near
Yarraman Mine in the vicinity of Brown Lake.
10 January 2014
Fire crews continue to monitor and dampen down fire hotspots. All fires burning within containment lines and aerial water-bombing continues to keep them under control.
11 January 2014
Crews remain at multiple fires. Crews water bomb slow burning fire located near Native Companion Lagoon. Crews fighting small fire in the vicinity of Brown Lake. Multiple firefighters patrolling older fires to ensure they remain contained and dampening down. Fires not threatening any properties.
12 January 2014
complete a controlled burn around the Brown Lake area. The burn takes
place within fire containment lines but will causes a smoke haze,
affecting the southern bay islands. Crews continue to monitor multiple
fires and extinguish flare-ups as they arise.
Fire crews conduct final monitoring and mop up of the bushfire that has been burning in the vicinity of Brown Lake.
13 January 2014
Fire crews leave the island, leaving the monitoring of further flare-ups in the hands of Local Council and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.