Plan and prepare for a dangerous bushfire season
QGC is fitting more than 200 bushfire kits to fleet and contractor vehicles and offering training to staff and contractors in readiness for a season of bushfires. Rural Fire Service leaders are warning that fuel loads in the bush and suburbs are greater than they have been in many years. High temperatures, low humidity and strong winds are combining to raise the fire risk. “We will have fires, we believe, this year that will be fast running, very difficult to control and will certainly test our crews,” said Rural Fire Service rural operations manager Brian Smith. “Fuel loadings are in the (range of) five tonnes per hectare.” The kits now being fitted to vehicles include a water- carrying backpack with hand pump, a beater, a rack hoe, 10 sets of facemasks and a foam fire extinguisher. They come with a 20–30 minute induction covering current bushfire risks, causes, survival strategies and training in the use of each item in the kit. QGC’s main threats are open grassland fires, which are fastmoving, unpredictable and difficult to manage. The kit and training sessions deliver the skills, knowledge and tools to put out an early-stage grass fire and advice on surviving a bushfire. QGC’s workforce are not trained fire fighters and are not advised to tackle anything other than an early-stage grass fire. Reduce the chances of a fire starting by managing the vegetation around your worksite, have on hand – and know how to use – tools to stop an early-stage fire, stay in contact with your line manager, don’t park in dry grass (hot exhausts start fires) and don’t discard matches, cigarettes, glass or any other litter in the bush. Remember that in Queensland, you must apply to your local fire warden for a permit for any fire greater than 2m by 2m. To sign up for bushfire awareness training, contact your security and emergency response adviser.