Ballandean fire within metres of destroying houses
BILL Lynam had to sit and watch from a kilometre away as fire fighters worked to save his Ballandean house from a bush fire on Sunday.
Mr Lynam was in Warwick when his sister called to tell him flames were just 20 metres away from his house.
"We just packed up and came home immediately," Mr Lynam said.
"(I was) told then that I can't come into my property, that everything was being evacuated, I just had to watch it burn if it was going to, but thankfully it didn't."
The fire broke out on Lynams Rd around 12.30pm on Sunday where 16 rural and urban crews battled against winds of up to 60km/h.
Crews remained on scene until 11pm before returning around 6.20am on Monday.
The fire burnt 270ha of land with fire fighters saving three dwellings, including Mr Lynam's and a camp site.
Households on Lynams Rd, Bents Rd, Puglisi ln and Zambelli Rd were asked to relocate during the afternoon.
Mr Lynam praised the work of the fire fighters who he said predicted his property would be under threat and acted fast.
"It threatened quite a few neighbours, thankfully the firies were on the scene and they saved every house including mine."
Rural Fire Brigade secretary James Massey said the strength of the wind caused the fire to jump Lynams Rd.
"The fire travelled at such a speed across the ground, where you had a situation where you can't always get in front of it to stop it," he said.
"Even if you do a back burn with it, the trouble is, as you back burn you actually have the flames coming towards you because of the strength of the wind."
He said clean gutters, no plantation around houses and controlled burns were what saved the dwellings from being burned down.
Although neighbouring councils have total fire bans, there are no bans in the Granite Belt.
Mr Massey said residents performing controlled burns should be aware of the conditions around them.
"People sometimes think that if they burn they're making themselves safe but the trouble is they're not necessarily keeping themselves safe. They could actually create something like this."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Crews will continue to patrol the area through the week.