Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katerina Carroll (right), watched by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katerina Carroll (right), watched by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. AAP - Dan Peled

Premier visits Finch Hatton amid intensified wild fires

UPDATE: Emergency respondents to the wild fire crisis in Eungella, Finch Hatton and Dalrymple are quietly confident that they are gaining a stronghold of the situation, with residents able to begin returning to their homes. 

Five planes and two helicopters are above the blaze conducting waterbombing operations, while 35 crews work within established containment lines.

A QFES spokesman said while operations would continue to confront the fire, conditions were quite favourable compared to what the last couple of days had presented and the threat level had diminished.

EARLIER: AS MORE than 100 wild fires in Queensland continue to confront fighters and volunteers, Queesland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has pled to the community to remain vigilant as another unprecedented heat wave threatens to add to the chaos.

The premier flew into Mackay this morning to visit sites such as Finch Hatton and Eungella, and she praised the efforts of fire fighters and volunteers during last nights Eungella operation.

"I've had the opportunity to listen to our front-line workers. They've talked about this fire basically being taller than the trees that surround us today," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"Eungella was a very important operation last night, and thankfully everyone is safe, but it took the courage of a lot of fire fighters on the ground to do everything they possibly could.

"We still have over 100 fires throughout our state, and I'd like to make all a big plea to Queenslanders that we are going to be facing again an unprecedented heat wave and it's going to impact right across our state."

Queensland Fire commissioner Katarina Carroll said these catastrophic events are far from over with fires now coming together in an intensified blaze.

"Just this region alone there are still 70 fires and... in this area - Finch Hatton, Eungella, Dalrymple - those fires have come together and presenting even more of a challenge."

Pressed on the state's hazard reduction program, Ms Carroll said the early onset of this fire season meant mitigation burning and containment lines were not completed in the lead up and these wild fires would influence future preparation.

"I think we achieved most of that around the state however what happened this year... is the fire season started several weeks earlier than we expected," she said.

"It certainly put a challenge on us and we didn't really finish all of the hazard reduction we wished to have achieve.

"We have spoken to the volunteers already, this is a part of our future planning and certainly we will be looking at further hazard reduction burns and containment lines as a result."


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