A Queensland pineapple farm has been devastated by a bushfire just a few years after Cyclone Marcia tore through the property. Only two weeks out from harvest, the Brooks family farm at Bundungarra in Central Queensland has lost not just its crop but an estimated million dollars' worth of sheds, machinery and equipment.
"I just can't fathom how bad it is," Ryan Brooks told 9News. "The flames would have been 30-foot high. It was fireballs, I described it as a storm… it was horrendous. It's amazing how much, how quick it burnt."
The Brooks family have been on the farm in Bungundarra near Yeppoon since 1957 when Ryan's grandfather moved onto the land. "My dad has been here for 54 years now and he can't describe anything else," he said. "This is the worst thing I've ever seen in my life. I sat in here and watched the cyclone and it was scary [but] this is the worst thing I've ever seen."
He said he believes their farm is likely not even the worst hit. "People have lost their homes with nothing but the clothes on their back," he said. "We've lost a lot but other people have probably lost more too."
The blaze tore through the Cobraball and Bungundarra region on Saturday and is still burning. It is currently moving slowly in the vicinity of Bungundarra, Maryvale and Lake Mary. Residents have been advised to prepare to leave the area in case the situation worsens.