FEELING THE BURN
WHAT TO EXPECT AND HOW TO PREPARE AS THE REGION FACES THE LONGEST BUSHFIRE SEASON IN RECENT MEMORY:
RESIDENTS are being warned not to light fires after local fire wardens placed a ban on all fire permits, stating the area was “in the grip of bushfire season”.
QFES Rural Fire Service officer Mark Russell said the decision comes after months of intense dry weather conditions creating a very high fire danger in the Wide Bay Burnett area.
“Local fire wardens have taken the decision to cancel all fire permits, except in the case of cane production and harvest,” he said.
“A restriction has been placed on cane-related permits so that standing cane and cane trash is only burnt between 6pm and 6am.”
Mr Russell said this bushfire season was shaping up to be one of the longest in recent times.
“Ex-tropical cyclones stripped vegetation from trees and increased fuel loads in many parts of Wide Bay Burnett,” he said.
“A warmer than average winter and a drier than average autumn has exacerbated this, which means the Wide Bay Burnett is facing a protracted fire season.”
To minimise the risk of a bushfire starting and spreading, Mr Russell said residents needed to prepare.
“Residents should take proactive measures around the home by removing leaf litter, clearing gutters, mowing lawns, keeping vegetation away from the home and removing flammable materials, such as rubbish, from the yard,” he said.
“Residents should make sure a fire truck can access their property quickly, safely and easily in the event of a fire.”
Mr Russell said the Wide Bay Burnett had experienced an active start to the 2017 bushfire season.
“Since August 1 QFES has attended more than 150 bushfires across the Wide Bay Burnett region,” he said.
“The bushfires crews have attended have ranged from small incidents requiring one to two crews, to larger protracted incidents requiring multiple resources and waterbombers.”
Mr Russell said fire permit restrictions and cancellations would stay in place until the region experiences significant rain.
RESTRICTION ON CANE FIRES
150 FIRES SINCE AUGUST
FIRE PERMITS CANCELLED
A recent blaze at Doughboy, one of many in the region.
A man seen leaving this traweler after it ran aground has been found safe.