Calls to be vig­i­lant dur­ing bush­fire sea­son

Maroochy Weekly - - NEWS -

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.

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