QPWS response – Western Downs bushfires
Issued: 17 Feb 2023
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers are actively involved in the firefighting effort to support the ongoing bushfire response led by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) in the Western Downs Region.
QPWS is working with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries – Forest Products (DAF) and QFES to contain fires within Barakula and Nudley State Forests after fires entered the State forests from nearby properties on Monday, 13 February 2023 and Tuesday 14 February 2023.
To support the response, QPWS and DAF have deployed departmental assets from across the state including approximately 40 staff members both on the fireground and in planning and supporting roles.
QPWS and DAF have deployed their heavy machinery including bulldozers, graders, loaders and skidders to construct containment lines.
The State forests on the Western Downs support the commercial production hardwood timber species and cypress pine. Cypress pine is fire sensitive and an important resource for the local timber industry within the surrounding communities.
Additionally, State forests hold significant natural, environmental and cultural values.
QPWS rangers and officers have also been assisting QFES in response to the fires on neighbouring lands through on-ground support and operational advice.
QPWS is also currently responding to fires in Waterton, Whetstone and Warranna State forests, and will continue to support partnering agencies in response to the ongoing bushfire situation.
Smoke can decrease visibility on the roads, so it is important that motorists drive safely to the conditions.
Anyone who may be affected by smoke should take any necessary precautions.
If members of the public are in or near this location they must observe all signage, barriers, and directions from rangers, and must not enter closed areas.
See the QFES site for all current warnings, updates and mapping.