| GEO World|
| Queensland areas still on fire|
| Updated at: 1717 PST, Wednesday, October 21, 2009|
SYDNEY: Premier Anna Bligh says the firefighters job in central Queensland is far from over.
She says it is incredible no homes were lost from a large bushfire in Rockhampton yesterday.
Firefighters saved about 100 homes in the suburb of Norman Gardens in Rockhampton's northern outskirts from the Mount Archer blaze.
A house in nearby Lakes Creek was destroyed by the blaze on Saturday.
Local MPs Robert Schwarten and Paul Hoolihan joined Ms Bligh on a tour of the affected suburbs this morning.
Ms Bligh has thanked firefighters.
"When you see how close these fires have come to people's homes and you realise that in some 22,000 deployments of firefighting staff in 3,800 vegetation fires over the last four weeks - and there's only been two houses lost - then I think you can see the incredible effort our people are putting in on the ground," she said.
People were out walking and returning to their normal routines today, but the hill behind Norman Gardens is black and there is still some smoke as logs continue to smoulder.
Ms Bligh says the situation is under control but locals are not out of the woods yet.
"Unfortunately we can call on extra firefighters from interstate and we can call on volunteers from around Queensland, but there's nothing we can do to make it rain," she said.
"While the weather conditions are a bit cooler today, there is no real prospect of significant rain on the immediate horizon.
"The danger is a long way from passed."
But Opposition spokesman Ted Malone says the Queensland Government did not properly prepare for bushfires.
"They've put a big proportion of the community at risk by not following the plan and there's many questions to ask of the management of the wilderness area," he said.
"We've see the Premier come up and make a great presence in up here in Rockhampton today - had they put the same effort into protecting the area there over the last few months, maybe we wouldn't have had to spend all that money in fighting the fire."
However, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) says backburning in the Mount Archer National Park has been regular, with six planned burns in the area in the last three years.
QPWS spokesman Lee Harris says two of these burns were carried out last March.
"The backburning that we've been doing is consistent with the guidelines of our management strategy for Mount Archer National Park," he said.
"What's important to understand is that we're dealing with extreme conditions - probably the worst in 15 years,
"It's almost impossible to eliminate the risk of fire - wildfire - during such extreme conditions."
Ms Bligh also visited Bundaberg in southern Queensland this morning after flying over the region's fire affected areas.
More than 300 square kilometres of bush and grazing land at Gaeta, near Bundaberg, has been burnt and about 100 fire fighters are continuing to monitor the blaze.
Patrols are expected to continue until the end of the week to ensure the fire does not breach containment lines.
Ms Bligh says it is the worst fires ever seen in the region
She says a further 34 firefighters from New South Wales will arrive in Bundaberg tomorrow to help out.
"What this means is that we've seen many properties at serious risk and it is a great credit to our firefighters and emergency personnel that we haven't seen loss of homes or loss of lives," she said.
"What we have seen though is extensive damage of property to fences.
"This is going to be a long recovery for those people whose rural industries have now been affected."
Ms Bligh met with the Council this morning and the Government will do all it can to help those affected.
"This is going to take some extensive work to see the properties affected fully recover," she said.
"I know many of the families on these properties have experienced drought in recent times, so they're doing it tough and the State Government will stand side-by-side the Council and the community in helping the recovery effort."
A mobile offer from the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority (QRAA) is also on its way to Gaeta to provide financial help to property owners affected by bushfires.