Plan and pre­pare for a dan­ger­ous bush­fire sea­son

Central and North Burnett Times - - SCHOOL NEWS -

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.

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