LAST LINE OF DEFENCE: Thomas Bonner watches the fire progress.
LAST LINE OF DEFENCE: Thomas Bonner watches the fire progress. Bianca Hrovat

Family prepares to fight as fire borders their homes

AS emergency service vehicles scream past, The Summit teenager Ben Rogers assesses the fire danger from atop the roof of his family home.

 

Rogers and Bonner family at the summit
STANDBY: Ben Rogers keeps lookout. Bianca Hrovat

Thomas is supported by family friends the Bonners, who arrived from New South Wales last night, hauling in their rural firefighting equipment to help however they could.

According to Tim Bonner, the group had a sleepless night as embers carried along the strong northern winds.

"There were lit embers all over," Tim said.

"They would have done a bit of damage and burned but by the time they landed it was too cold."

 

Rogers and Bonner family at the summit
Tim Bonner travelled up from NSW to help his mate. Bianca Hrovat

Those colder Stanthorpe temperatures stalled the fire last night, but today the threat has renewed, with warm temperatures and high wind gusts creating poor conditions.

It's waiting game now, as the large and fast moving bushfire pushes through the scrub and borders nearby farmland.

"They can't do much while it's in the bushland, they have to wait for it to hit one of the roads," Tim said.

Property owner Mark Rogers said it was the worst fire he'd seen in the fifty years he'd lived in the area and said its progression was becoming concerning.

 

Rogers and Bonner family at the summit
Mark Rogers watches the smoke travel from the back of his mother's home. Bianca Hrovat

"It's a bit of a worry where it is at the moment," he said.

"It's out of control and that's why they're water bombing.

"We've counted three aircraft so far."

If the winds change course, their property will be directly in the line of danger.

Mark said if that were to happen, he wouldn't hesitate to leave immediately.

"At the end of the day it's only a house, and it's only a car," he said.

"We know this area well and we know at least four or five routes we can take to get out quickly."

Scott Rogers owned the home down the street and says he won't leave until his house is on fire.

As a firefighter for many years, Scott has experience fighting fires and knows what to look for.

"It probably won't make it here," he said.

"It would have to cross the containment line at the next street over, then this would be the next line of defence.

"We'll concentrate our efforts on the house and the structures."

At the time of publishing, emergency services advised those on the Rogers' street to evacuate immediately.

 

Rogers and Bonner family at the summit
Thomas Bonner, Ben Rogers, Sammy Rogers and Josh Rogers are ready to fight. Bianca Hrovat