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Queensland still under total fire ban

10/31/2002 10:30:38 AM

Emergency Services Minister Mike Reynolds today reminded Queenslanders that the whole state was still under a total fire ban.

Mr Reynolds said he was disappointed that two bushfires appeared to have been deliberately lit in the Tabletop Mountain area near Toowoomba and at Helidon yesterday (Wednesday).

The Minister said two other fires were started in backyards in the Toowoomba area as well, during the current state-wide, total fire ban.

"In these instances, one person started an incinerator and another was burning off a pile of timber," he said.

"This is very dangerous during these current tinder-dry conditions and police are looking at charging these people over their actions.

"I would like to reiterate that Queensland is currently under a total fire ban and anyone acting stupidly by lighting fires will be charged with the full force of the law."

Mr Reynolds said the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service today continued water-bombing the fire at Tabletop Mountain which had spread towards White Mountain. The Helidon fire was brought under control this morning.

The total fire ban for the entire state was declared on October 24 and will remain in place until November 7, during which time weather conditions will be monitored to determine if the ban needs to be extended or revoked.

The ban prohibits the lighting of all outdoor fires, with the following exemptions:

Fires within a properly constructed barbecue are permitted, provided they are not left unattended. (Gas and electric barbecues may be used);

Fires for the purpose of disposal of animal carcasses are permitted, subject to the issue of a Permit to Light a Fire by the local Fire Warden or an authorized fire officer;

Fires of commercial necessity are permitted subject to the issue of a Permit to Light Fire by the Rural Fire Service District Inspector or an authorised fire officer;

Fires lit for the purpose of burning standing sugar cane for harvest in accordance with the established practice of the industry;

Fires lit for the purpose of burning sugar cane tops and trash between the hours of 6.00 pm and 9.00 am.

Mr Reynolds said assessments of the current fire situation and the impending fire risks over the coming days and weeks indicated that all areas of the State were at risk.

More information on fire bans and fire safety information is available from the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and Rural Fire Service websites at www.fire.qld.gov.au or www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.

The latest ban information can also be obtained at any time by phoning free call 1800 020 440.

Contact for media enquiries: Justin Coomber (Minister's office) on 0407 130 287


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