Why Dep’t says Fraser Island fire has been so hard to fight
WITH soil made of sand and thick forest canopies, fighting the fires on Fraser Island has proven challenging for those battling the blaze on the ground and from the air.
Waterbombing has been used to suppress the fire's movement and rate of spread, a spokeswoman from the Department of Environment and Science said.
"However, as the soil is sand, it doesn't hold moisture which hampers its residual benefits," she said.
"In the tall, forested areas it is difficult for water bombing to dampen the ground through the canopy."
About 36 per cent of Fraser Island is within the fire perimeter but not all that area has been burned.
The fire has been burning on the island for more than five weeks.
The fire is burning relatively slowly, at various intensities depending on environmental conditions and vegetation types, and is burning in a mosaic pattern.
The fire is not burning at an intensity that is threatening rainforest communities, the spokeswoman said.
"It has already bordered the edges of the wet sclerophyll forest and rainforest and self-extinguished along the edges of those communities.
"Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has established an Incident Management Team with "Queensland Fire and Emergency Services to actively manage the situation and has the necessary trained fire personnel and fire equipment at its disposal.
"This includes multiple crews, between 14 to 20 rangers, Butchulla Land and Sea Rangers and QFES officers on the ground each day, with further resources drawn from across south east Queensland to assist where necessary."
The investigation into the illegal campfire is ongoing.
The alleged offenders have not been identified.
Anyone with information is urged to contact DES.
A person who fails to extinguish a campfire properly can face fines of up to $22,019.