FIRE rages to the south of Teewah village last night with residents forced out of their homes and onto the beach in their cars
FIRE rages to the south of Teewah village last night with residents forced out of their homes and onto the beach in their cars

How the fire that threatened Teewah jumped a river

A VOLUNTEER Noosa firefighter who helped fight the Teewah blaze to standstill said the bushfire started from an afternoon permit burn on south side of the river during gusting winds.

Noosa North Shore Rural Fire Brigade first officer Mick Hancock, 72, was part of about 12 crews fighting the blaze, including a unit from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

"There was a permit issued to a guy in Johns Rd at Cooroibah and he had a stacked heap he wanted to burn," Mr Hancock said.

"He lit it in that wind and the stack pile was huge and long. It got away on him, which was inevitable, and it went down to the river at Johns Landing and then it jumped (the Noosa River)."

In the early stages of the fire, Mr Hancock said the Tinbeerwah rural firefighters put out the blaze on the south side of the river, but it was already burning on the north shore.

Mr Hancock and his brigade were deployed about 2.30pm and they mustered at the Teewah landing strip.

"By that time it had surrounded the landing strip and then it just raced up to Teewah," he said.

"It was a pretty close exercise, we were lucky the wind changed from westerly to southeast before dark.

"We back-burned around the southeast and the northwest of the village.

"All it had to do was jump. The were cinders and embers going up and if it (the fire) had gone the other way, the village would have gone up no matter what we'd done to put out the spot fires."

Mr Hancock said the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services incident controller finally deemed the situation under control about 2.30am and he was able to head home to the north shore about 3am.

There was a late call to him to say the fire had flared again and crews might have to head back, but it quickly settled and his exhausted volunteers were able to rest.

"We had young fellows who don't get paid up there 'til three o'clock this morning and they've probably had to go to work early this morning," Mr Hancock said.

"We've got another crew going up today - it just needs patrolling."

Mr Hancock said this was the second close save for the village this fire season.

"Teewah was attacked from the other side to the north about a month ago. That burnt completely from the lake to the beach," he said.