Calls to be vigilant during bushfire season
SUNSHINE Coast rural firefighters will be working with the Queensland Police Service (QPS) to clamp down on suspicious fires ahead of this year’s bushfire season.
The Rural Fire Service (RFS) and QPS have signalled arson as a key issue for the Coast in the wake of incidents that occurred during the 2016 bushfire season.
“The Sunshine Coast experienced cases of arson firsthand in recent times and it was only through good fortune and the work of police, firefighters and emergency services that no one was hurt,” Sunshine Coast Police District Officer Superintendent Darryl Johnson said.
“We need residents to be our eyes and ears on the ground and to report any suspicious activity to police on 131 444 or your local police station immediately.”
Caloundra RFS Area Director Gary Seaman said the onus was on all Sunshine Coast residents to prevent arson-related incidents from occurring.
“The Sunshine Coast has trended toward greater bushfire activity in recent years due to hotter and drier conditions,” he said.
Mr Seaman also foreshadowed tough measures against people caught conducting un-permitted burns on their properties.
He said residents must contact their local fire warden to obtain a free permit to conduct a burn larger than two metres in any direction.
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 at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.