Fire ban on islands in Moreton Bay during September school holidays

A FIRE ban has kicked off on islands in Moreton Bay in an attempt to stop bushfires breaking out during the school holidays.

BURNT: Bushland on Russell Island after a fire swept through earlier this year. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

BURNT: Bushland on Russell Island after a fire swept through earlier this year. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

A spokesperson for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said the ban, which started on Friday, September 15, would be in place until Monday, October 2.

“… The ban is in response to a growing bushfire threat in south-east Queensland,” the spokesperson said.

The ban affects the following islands: North Stradbroke, Russell, Macleay, Lamb, Karragarra, Peel, Coochiemudlo, South Stradbroke and Moreton.

The director of rural operations for the Rural Fire Service James Haig said holidaymakers should plan ahead in light of the ban and ensure they had appropriate cooking alternatives.

“I understand the local fire ban may inconvenience families visiting these popular spots during the school holiday period, but this is not a decision we have taken lightly,” he said.

Mr Haig said permits issued previously in these areas had been cancelled.

“South-east Queensland is in the grip of a serious bushfire season and current weather conditions are exacerbating the threat of a bushfire starting and spreading.”

Mr Haig said RFS had been working with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and local governments to manage the bushfire risk on islands in Moreton Bay.

We hope everyone enjoys the school holidays, but safety is our priority and we need the community to play its part by being vigilant and adhering to the local fire ban.”

Mr Haig said fires within a properly constructed barbecue were excluded from the ban, as long as they were attended at all times. 

“We recommend the use of gas-fired barbecues in a cleared area away from vegetation and monitored by a responsible adult at all times.”

The ban did not prevent people from using machinery and power tools, but Mr Haig said people should take precautions and watch for sparks. 

“Sparks from a power tool can easily ignite a bushfire under these conditions, so people should avoid using them near dry grass and vegetation.” 

“People should also keep a bucket of water or a hose handy if using power tools, slashers or lawn mowers on their property.”

Bushfires should be reported immediately to triple zero (000).

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