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Bribie Island Bushfire Investigation Concludes

The investigation into the lengthy Bribie Island bushfire emergency has concluded, finding it started when an underground fire reignited the land above.  

Planned burns had been carried out in the days before the fire flared up in a big way on August 21.  

A Department of Environment and Science (DES) spokesperson said "Each year the Department of Environment and Science conducts a series of planned burns across our 13 million hectares of parks and forests".  

"These planned burns help control vegetation and prevent wider outbreaks of bushfires during the hot, dry season.

"While there was no planned burns in the Bribie Island area in the days leading up to the bushfire on 21 August, we did conduct a planned burn on 30 July when the weather conditions were more favourable.

"Our investigations show that underground peat deposits on Bribie Island continued to smoulder undetected and then reignited surface vegetation during the hot, windy and dry weather conditions three weeks later.

"Planned burns are a vital part of our fire management strategy. Already this year we have conducted 281 planned burns, more than any time within the past six years.

"Planned burns are only conducted when the weather conditions are favourable and are carried out under the advice of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service" the statement concluded.  

The Bribie Island fire generated a large smoke cloud which could be seen and photographed clearly from Caloundra.  It also killed a lot of wildlife, some were found floating in the water or lying singed on the sand.  

Images emerged showing dozens of kangaroos lying dead on the shoreline.  

When the fire initially sparked on August 21, campers were also evacuated but luckily no one was injured.  

By Michelle Price 

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