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Central Region residents urged to understand bushfire warnings

9/12/2013 8:58:59 AM

What would you do if you heard a Watch and Act message over the radio? Not sure? Queenslanders should familiarise themselves NOW with bushfire warnings to avoid confusion later.

Central Region Manager for Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) Brian Smith said different warning messages could be issued over the coming months to provide valuable and concise information during a bushfire event.

“Emergency services personnel may issue community warning messages through the media during an incident and will inform residents of the steps they must take to survive the bushfire,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said there were three levels of messaging which could be issued as an event escalated. These include:
Advice – there is a fire in your area, there is currently no threat to property but stay informed;
Watch and Act – there is a fire in your area, you could be impacted and should prepare to enact your bushfire plan; and
Emergency Warning – there is a fire in your area, you need to enact your Bushfire Survival Plan and prepare for impact.

“Residents must tune into their local news broadcaster as emergency services personnel will be providing them with the most up to date information,” he said.

“Warnings are not only issued by the media. Firefighters, State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers or police may be doorknocking in the area or you could receive an Emergency Alert message on your mobile or home phone with advice on the situation and where to go for further information.”

Mr Smith said it was important to keep a close eye on Fire Danger Ratings in your local area and when travelling in an area of high bushfire risk.

“Every day during the bushfire season the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) will forecast an outlook of the Fire Danger Index (FDI). This takes into account temperature, humidity, wind speed and dryness of vegetation, and guides RFSQ to determine the Fire Danger Rating for the day,” he said.

“The Fire Danger Rating will advise you in advance of what action you should take if fire breaks out. Ratings can range from Low to Moderate to Catastrophic.

“All of these methods of messaging are designed to be as informative as possible so you are able to make the best decisions for your family ahead of bushfire threat.”

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

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