Bush fire big threat

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

WHILE we may live in a re­gion that is pre­dom­i­nately rain­for­est, bush fires re­main a very real and present dan­ger in trop­i­cal Queens­land.

So with the fire sea­son upon us the Queens­land Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice is warn­ing Dou­glas res­i­dents to act now and clean up their prop­er­ties in a bid to pre­vent a pos­si­ble tragedy or as­set loss.

QFRS Cairns North Com­mand in­spec­tor Neil Fan­ning urged peo­ple not to be com­pla­cent just be­cause they live in the “green trop­ics”.

“Even though it is win­ter here it is also our dry time of the year and when we are very vul­ner­a­ble to wild fires,’’ he said.

“Peo­ple need to take ev­ery pre­cau­tion and clean away any rub­bish that may have built up around their prop­er­ties and check that their wa­ter sup­plies, hoses and pumps are all in good work­ing order in case they are needed to put out any fires.

“We only have lim­ited crews and they can­not be ev­ery­where if we have a bad fire sea­son.

Insp Fan­ning also urged smok­ers to be re­spon­si­ble so as not to cause a ma­jor blaze.

“Although it is im­pos­si­ble to police, smok­ers have to re­mem­ber they must not throw their cig­a­rette butts out of their ve­hi­cle’s win­dow.

“You only have to look at most of the ranges and slopes at the mo­ment and you will see that there is a lot of dry ma­te­rial on the ground and will eas­ily catch fire - and what peo­ple need to re­mem­ber is that for ev­ery­one 10 de­grees of slope, the fire dou­bles its speed as it races up the hills and we can­not stop them when this hap­pens and they are over the ridge in just min­utes.”

The de­clared fire dan­ger - or to­tal fire ban - starts on Au­gust 1 and will re­main in place un­til the start of the wet sea­son in Novem­ber.

“If any­one needs to light fires for any rea­son un­til Au­gust 1, they need to ob­tain a per­mit first to light fires to clean up around their prop­er­ties,” Insp Fan­ning said.

“But as soon Au­gust 1 ar­rives, which is the fire dan­ger pe­riod, peo­ple will still be able to get per­mits but a num­ber of con­di­tions must be met in­clud­ing an ad­e­quate pump, hose and wa­ter sup­ply and some­one watch­ing over the fire in case it takes off.”

Any­one who wants a per­mit should call Cap­tain Louie Leone at the Port Dou­glas and Moss­man fire sta­tion on 0408 993 738.

Net­ted: Fish­eries of­fi­cers se­cure a deadly gill net at Wonga beach as one of the al­leged own­ers looks on.

Burn­ing is­sue: Fire chief Neil Fan­ning.

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