South East residents urged to prepare for extreme fire conditions
12/3/2012 5:55:14 PM
The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) is warning South East Queensland residents to be bushfire prepared as firefighters brace for what is anticipated to be the most dangerous fire conditions seen this bushfire season.
Rising fire dangers are predicted in South East Region with sustained heat, combined with the reduction in humidity, resulting in severe to extreme fire danger.
QFRS Acting Manager of Rural Operations for South East Region Fergus Adrian said with such serious conditions, residents were strongly discouraged from lighting fires even if they did have a permit.
“Don’t light fires as conditions are far too dangerous,” Mr Adrian said.
“If you have completed hazard reduction burns recently, or had any fires on your property, make sure the fire is completely out so the wind does not pick up embers and cause fires further afield.
“Be particularly careful when using machinery in case sparks start a fire and don’t throw cigarette butts out windows.
“These are extreme conditions and they make fighting fires very challenging. Prevention is the key.”
Mr Adrian advised residents to prepare their properties and familiarise themselves with their bushfire survival plan.
He said any fires this week were likely to be difficult to extinguish and cause large amounts of smoke.
“While green grass is visible in the South East, there is still an under layer of dry, dead grass that will cause a lot of smoke when lit,” Mr Adrian said.
“We ask motorists to be cautious when driving near fire or through smoke and be aware of firefighters working in the area.
“If you suffer from respiratory illnesses, keep your medication close by.”
Mr Adrian also reminded residents to ring Triple Zero (000) immediately when they saw an unattended fire, rather than contacting local stations directly.
“Ringing Triple Zero (000) will ensure your enquiry is attended to quickly and allow firefighters to focus on operational matters.”
For further information during the event of a bushfire regularly tune into warnings by listening to your local radio and logging on to the Rural Fire Website at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.
Contact for media enquiries: DCS media unit on (07) 3635 3310.