19 Oct 2009

Rockhampton threatened by out-of-control bushfires

9:58 pm on 19 October 2009

The central Queensland city of Rockhampton was on the brink of a state of emergency on Monday night as out-of-control bushfires threatened its north-eastern outskirts.

Hundreds of residents were preparing to evacuate, with the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service warning that homes in suburban Norman Gardens and Frenchville could be in extreme danger.

Seventy-five firefighters have moved into the area, but the fire service says it cannot guarantee the protection of all property.

Firefighter numbers will get a much-needed boost on Tuesday when a relief contingent of 67 from New South Wales joins in the battle against fires threatening both Rockhampton and Bundaberg.

Up to 200 homes located along the fringe of Rockhampton's Mt Archer National Park are in the danger zone.

A combination of easterly winds and dry conditions is expected to keep the fires burning for several days.

Meanwhile, major fires in northern New South Wales and near Broome in Western Australia have been contained.