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South West residents urged to prepare for extreme fire conditions

12/3/2012 12:05:13 PM

The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) is urging residents in the south west to prepare for extreme fire conditions across the region over the coming days.

QFRS Acting Manager of Rural Operations for South Western Region Colin Neal said the entire region would be impacted by the dangerous conditions as a result of hot temperatures and reduced humidity.

“We’re expecting extreme fire conditions across the south west, which will include very hot and dry winds,” Mr Neal said.

“These conditions make it very difficult to contain vegetation fires which flare up, so we’re asking residents to take extra precautions.”

Mr Neal said permit burns were suspended until Saturday.

“Under no circumstance should property owners conduct permit burns this week,” he said.

“Landowners who have conducted hazard reduction burns recently should take immediate steps to ensure their fire has been properly extinguished. Those planning to do a burn once the permit suspension is lifted should contact their local fire warden or area office.”

Mr Neal asked residents to use extreme caution when using power tools, slashers and other machinery.

“Sparks from grinders and other common machinery can easily ignite grassland and a major bushfire can take hold very quickly. Landowners should minimise the risk of a fire starting by taking precautions and having fire extinguishers ready,” he said.

“Don’t be careless with cigarette butts either. I’ve seen some devastating fires caused by cigarette butts tossed out car windows. This is so easily prevented and I’m calling on the community to be vigilant.”

Mr Neal said additional resources from across the State will be positioned in South Western Region to respond to potential fires.

“A strike team from Toowoomba arrived in Roma yesterday. Incident control points have been set up in Warwick, Dalby and Roma. Six water bombers and two aerial support aircrafts are also positioned in the region,” he said.

Mr Neal said it was crucial residents have prepared their property and finalised their bushfire survival plan, which can be downloaded from the Rural Fire Service website.

“Familiarise yourself with bushfire warnings, listen to your local ABC radio and log on to our website for more information,” he said.

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

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