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South west residents urged to prepare for heightened fire danger

11/15/2012 9:47:35 AM

The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) is urging residents in the south west to be vigilant with very high to severe fire conditions predicted in coming days.

QFRS South Western Regional Manager of Rural Operations Wayne Waltisbuhl said firefighters were monitoring conditions and preparing for potential grass fires.

“The weather forecast suggests that dry, hot and windy conditions will produce a heightened fire danger today and in the coming days for much of south west Queensland,” Mr Waltisbuhl said.

“It is expected temperatures could reach up to 42 degrees, relative humidity will be down to around 10 per cent and winds could reach up to 35 km/hr. Locations which may be affected include areas around Quilpie, Thargomindah, Cunnamulla, St George and Goondiwindi.

“Although there has been some isolated showers and rainfall across the region, there are many areas that have received little or no rain. These conditions make it very difficult to contain vegetation fires, so we’re asking residents to take extra care and be alert.”

As a result, Mr Waltisbuhl said landowners who had conducted hazard reduction burns recently were strongly encouraged to take immediate steps to ensure their fire had been properly extinguished.

“Landowners who have conducted burns are also asked to make sure residual fires are contained so that they will not escape,” he said.

He said it was vital residents working with power tools and machinery took great care.

“Sparks from machinery can easily ignite grassland and a major fire can take hold very quickly. Landowners should minimise the risk of a fire starting by taking precautions and having firefighting equipment present to extinguish any fire,” he said.

In addition, Mr Waltisbuhl said residents should finalise any outstanding bushfire preparations around their properties.

“If residents haven’t already, I urge them to visit the Rural Fire Service website to download a bushfire survival plan so that no one is caught off guard,” he said.

“Also make sure you’re tuning into warnings by regularly listening to ABC Radio and logging on to our website www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au .”


Contact for media enquiries: DCS media unit on (07) 3635 3310.


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