Il­le­gal burns on the rise in Woodgate and beyond

Isis Town and Country - - News -

IF YOU’RE think­ing about do­ing your own quiet burn-off, do the right thing and get a per­mit, firies have urged.

Bund­aberg re­gion fire­fight­ers are seek­ing the com­mu­nity’s help to stamp out il­le­gal burns in the lead-up to sum­mer.

Bund­aberg Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice area com­man­der Bruce Thomp­son said fire­fight­ers had no­ticed a num­ber of il­le­gal burns in the re­gion dur­ing the past month, in­clud­ing at Bucca and Woodgate.

“Il­le­gal burns have be­come a com­mon oc­cur­rence in Bund­aberg and it is a real con­cern for ru­ral fire­fight­ers, par­tic­u­larly with sum­mer ap­proach­ing,” Mr Thomp­son said.

“Bund­aberg is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dry con­di­tions at the mo­ment and, with a high fire dan­ger rat­ing in place, it only takes one un­per­mit­ted burn to get out of hand to cause se­ri­ous prob­lems for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.”

Mr Thomp­son said res­i­dents who wished to con­duct a burn larger than two me­tres in any di­rec­tion must con­tact their lo­cal fire war­den to ob­tain a free per­mit.

“Per­mits in­clude re­stric­tions on when burns can take place, and per­mit hold­ers must also no­tify their neigh­bours and their fire war­den be­fore light­ing a fire,” Mr Thomp­son said.

“These steps are in place to make sure fires are lit and man­aged safely.

“We en­cour­age land­hold­ers to take steps to re­duce the chance of bush­fires start­ing on their prop­er­ties but they risk putting them­selves and their com­mu­ni­ties in dan­ger if they do not fol­low cor­rect pro­ce­dures.”

Those who do not abide by per­mit con­di­tions could be pe­nalised.

“There are tough penal­ties for those who light unau­tho­rised fires, in­clud­ing fines of up to $6095 or six months im­pris­on­ment,” Mr Thomp­son said.

“The RFS can pros­e­cute peo­ple for il­le­gal burns, and it is a mea­sure that we may look at us­ing to curb these types of in­ci­dents in Bund­aberg.”

Land­hold­ers can use the Fire War­den Fin­der tool on the RFS web­site or con­tact their area of­fice to lo­cate their lo­cal fire war­den and ob­tain a per­mit. De­tails are avail­able at ru­ral­fire.qld.

PER­MIT NEEDED: Childers Ru­ral Fire Bri­gade con­duct­ing a hazard re­duc­tion burn at Ap­ple Tree Creek.

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