FIGHTING FIRE: A large bushfire tore through bushland and properties around Stanthorpe and Applethorpe at the weekend. The fire is now burning within containment lines but the weather bureau warns high winds will continue.
FIGHTING FIRE: A large bushfire tore through bushland and properties around Stanthorpe and Applethorpe at the weekend. The fire is now burning within containment lines but the weather bureau warns high winds will continue. Massie Rural Fire Service

Residents hoping for relief as bushfire threat eases

EXHAUSTED Granite Belt residents were pinning their hopes on a desperate overnight push last night to defeat the fire that has menaced them for days.

Stanthorpe and Applethorpe locals finally got some good news yesterday, with the blaze that destroyed seven properties in the region burning within containment lines.

Fire crews worked through the night to strengthen those lines so the fire couldn't jump them if wind conditions worsened.

"Things are looking good, but you still have to stay informed," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services assistant commissioner Megan Stiffler told a community meeting yesterday.

Residents have been unable to return to some fire ravaged areas, because of the danger of falling trees and downed power lines. But most have been able to go home. One woman told the meeting firefighters had performed a "miracle" in saving her house on Friday night and on Saturday.

"How the hell they stopped that fire, I don't know, it was a monster," she told the meeting.

Holly Patti's home was severely damaged by the fire, though the building is still standing.

"I am still a bit shell shocked that my house survived while friends lost theirs," Ms Patti said. "It'll be a few weeks at least before we can go back.

"The smoke in the house isn't bushfire smoke, it's toxic from the shed burning. We're just so thankful for everyone's help and offers."

Acting Premier Jackie Trad said the fires had claimed a piece of Queensland's history in the Gold Coast hinterland.

"Unfortunately overnight the Binna Burra Lodge, which has been part of the tourism landscape since 1933, has succumbed to devastation by the fires," she said.


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