FEEL­ING THE BURN

WHAT TO EX­PECT AND HOW TO PRE­PARE AS THE RE­GION FACES THE LONG­EST BUSH­FIRE SEA­SON IN RE­CENT MEM­ORY:

NewsMail - - FRONT PAGE - ASH­LEY CLARK JOUR­NAL­IST ash­ley.clark@news-mail.com.au

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

PHOTO: 7 NEWS WIDE BAY

A re­cent blaze at Dough­boy, one of many in the re­gion.

PHOTO: 7 NEWS WIDE BAY

A man seen leav­ing this traweler af­ter it ran aground has been found safe.

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