Firefighters dampen down a fire in Satinwood Crt in Airlie Beach on Wednesday.
Firefighters dampen down a fire in Satinwood Crt in Airlie Beach on Wednesday. Monique Preston

'Time bomb': Resident speaks out after Airlie fire

THE OWNER of a house saved from a vegetation fire in Airlie Beach has spoken out against people who do not slash grass on their blocks of land.

A grass and vegetation fire raged near Jenni Burnup's home in Satinwood Crt early Wednesday night, pushing large plumes of smoke from the mountain over Airlie Beach township.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services firefighters from Airlie Beach and Proserpine acted quickly to fight the fire after being called about 5.15pm.

Airlie Beach QFES grade two auxiliary firefighter Dean Berry said the fire was contained within 15-20 minutes of firefighters arriving.

Mrs Burnup's home was across the road from the head of the fire, with one fire truck rushing to the area to stop the fire coming up the hill and reaching the house.

An Airlie Beach brigade bushfire appliance worked on the fire from the bottom of the road and the Proserpine fire crew also worked at the head of the fire when it arrived.

In the meantime, police blocked off nearby Horizons Way to all traffic and people in nearby houses and holiday accommodation were evacuated as a precaution.

Firefighters remained on scene until 7.30am mopping up the fire, which is estimated to have burned an area about 30m by 30m.

Mr Berry said while it was a "pretty straight forward” firefighting effort, the grass in the burnt area was particularly dry and was about knee high.

"At this time of the season, everything's dry,” he said.

Mrs Burnup, who was at work in Cannonvale when the fire broke out, could not thank the firefighters enough.

"They did an awesome job,” she said.

"If it was not for them, who knows what would have happened.”

Mrs Burnup, however, was worried blocks around her home needed to be better maintained.

At the moment, her house is the only one in the court, but she estimates there are 15 to 20 blocks in the area owned by private landholders.

According to her, some have grass that match her own height on them.

The block that Wednesday's fire started on was "one of the better maintained” ones, she said.

"They're a time bomb waiting to happen,” she said.

"People need to really maintain their blocks.

"If a fire came up - a big one - we wouldn't be able to get out.

"At the moment that hill's just waiting to go up.

"We've always been aware of it and we've always been worried about it.”

Mrs Burnup urged people who owned blocks to slash them regularly.

"If you own a block, it's your responsibility to maintain it,” she said.

According to Mr Berry, the cause of Wednesday's fire is unknown, however no evidence of anything suspicious was found in the clean-up.