Bushland near Kerosene Bay goes up in flames.
Bushland near Kerosene Bay goes up in flames. Blainey Woodham/ Tweed Daily News

Fingal head a potential tinderbox

LETITIA Spit was ablaze yesterday as firefighters struggled to contain num- erous bushfires ignited by the area's build-up of dry fuel.

The fires started at the notorious Fingal tinderbox on Wednesday night and continued to blaze late yesterday afternoon, Rural Fire Service group captain Mark Eglington said.

Early yesterday morning the fires were almost contained and Capt Eglington said the only concern was strong south-westerly winds, which proved to be problematic in the afternoon when a second blaze ignited closer to the sand pumping jetty.

“About 12.30pm the second fires started on the north side of where it was last night (Wednesday), and jumped Letitia Spit Road to the west,” he said.

“It's jumped over to Kerosene Bay also.

“The windy conditions are making life very difficult.”

Firefighters were yesterday afternoon on standby on the northern banks of the Tweed River near The Tweed Hospital.

“We've got the New South Wales Fire Brigade over there watching in case it jumps the river,” Capt Eglington said.

The fires were posing no threat to residential properties, Capt Eglington said, but added the dry landscape and build-up of fuel could create havoc.

“It (Letitia Spit) has been a problem area for many years.

“It's so dry it doesn't take much to get it going.

“There needs to be more hazard reduction.

“It's also a hassle getting our vehicles close to the fires because it (the ground) is just too soft.”

The cause of both fires is still unknown, Capt Mark Eglington said.

“It will be under investigation by our fire investigators.

“We have had a few fires down here lately from campfires, but we don't know how this one started.

At the time of publication fire crews were still working to control the blazes.

“We're back-burning to try and contain them,” Capt Eglington said.

Kingscliff station commander Brett Gray pre- dicted more was still to come.

“It's going to be a long, hot summer,” he said.

But it was not all bad news on the fire front, according to Tweed Heads station officer Martin Maher.

“It's not a bad fire break now between all this bushland and the caravan park and houses,” he said.

The fires were attended by crews from Kingscliff, Tweed Coast, Cudgen, Tweed Heads, Brunswick Heads and several rural brigades.

“These volunteers are great people,” Capt Eglington said.

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