Fire risk concerns during hot weather

RAVAGING FIRE: The intense, fast-burning fire, which started to burn through the wetland reserve on Macleay Island recently. Photo: Jeanette March

RAVAGING FIRE: The intense, fast-burning fire, which started to burn through the wetland reserve on Macleay Island recently. Photo: Jeanette March

MAINTAIN your property and call emergency services immediately if you see any sign of fire.

That is the message from Superintendent Wayne Waltisbuhl from the Rural Fire Service as heightened fire conditions are predicted across Queensland in coming days.

Superintendent Waltisbuhl said the very hot temperatures expected over the next few days would exacerbate already dry conditions.

He said people in rural areas or near bushland should look carefully at their bushfire plans and maintain their property to reduce anything that could fuel the fire.

Superintendent Waltisbuhl said plans needed to include measures to look after pets, including larger animals like horses, if there was a fire, what to take if there is a fire and how to lock up safely.

“Larger rural areas should have some firefighting equipment with good lengths of hose,” he said.

Superintendent Waltisbuhl said it was sometimes better for people to leave earlier if there was a fire, especially if they were affected by the smoke.

“People need to be very careful about ignition points,” he said, warning about sparks from welding or grinding that could start a fire.

“Make sure you have a hose nearby so that if sparks start a fire you can put it out quickly.”

Superintendent Waltisbuhl said weather patterns led to bad days with a spate of fires which put stress on volunteer and permanent firefighters.

He said anyone who saw a fire or smoke should phone triple zero (000) immediately.

“We would rather get there quickly with an elevated response to allow our firefighters to get on top of it quickly.”

He said delays in getting called to a blaze resulted in firefighters being exposed to heat for longer.

Superintendent Waltisbuhl said a lack of heavy rainfall meant there was a lot of fire fuel available.

Information on bushfire survival plans is available on the Rural Fire Service website at ruralfire.qld.gov.au.

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