Vol­un­teer firies praised

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

RAIN this week was a wel­come re­lief, but ru­ral fire­fight­ers are urg­ing land­hold­ers to continue to mon­i­tor grass­fires.

Bund­aberg fire In­spec­tor Tony John­stone said if peo­ple had ex­pe­ri­enced a fire on their prop­erty they should con­stantly pa­trol that fire, “even two weeks later”.

Queens­land Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice Com­mis­sioner Lee John­son said the ser­vice’s abil­ity to pro­tect count­less prop­er­ties and keep res­i­dents in­formed would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the vol­un­teer work­force.

“Ru­ral fire vol­un­teers from across Queens­land left their ev­ery­day jobs and fam­i­lies to com­mit count­less hours to the front­line as un­favourable con­di­tions made bat­tling these bush­fires ex­tremely dif­fi­cult,” Mr John­son said.

“If re­cent fire ac­tiv­ity isn’t enough of a re­minder, res­i­dents must en­sure they are bush­fire-pre­pared and have the steps in place should a fire en­croach on their homes,” he said.

An­drew Vi­cary of the Auburn Beerong Ru­ral Fire Bri­gade com­mended all lo­cal ru­ral bri­gade mem­bers, land­hold­ers and helpers for the time and work they put into mak­ing breaks, pa­trolling the fires and co-or­di­nat­ing where help was needed.

“Hav­ing the back-up and sup­port of the QFRS was greatly ap­pre­ci­ated, as it took pres­sure off the lo­cal bri­gade mem­bers and land­hold­ers.

“The vol­un­teer strike teams from Bund­aberg and Rock­hamp­ton bri­gades were a great sup­port,” Mr Vi­cary said.

“Know­ing that these peo­ple have put down tools at home and come in to help gives us great ap­pre­ci­a­tion for what they do.

“We need to en­sure that we have made our role as safe as pos­si­ble con­sid­er­ing the dan­gers that are faced by crews on the front line,” said area con­troller Adam Gwin.

“We need to look at lessons learned from fires within Aus­tralia where peo­ple have lost their lives whilst fight­ing fires, and los­ing one life is one too many.”

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