Bush fire big threat
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.