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Central Queensland braces for severe to extreme fire conditions

3/12/2012 2:04:53 PM

The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) is warning Central Queensland residents to be bushfire prepared as firefighters brace for what is anticipated to be the most severe fire conditions seen this bushfire season.

Rising fire dangers are predicted in the Central Region with sustained heat, combined with the reduction in humidity, resulting in severe to extreme fire danger.

QFRS Manager of Rural Operations for Central Region Brian Smith said due to the extreme conditions, fire permits would be suspended from midnight tonight until Friday, December 7, 2012.

“Don’t light fires as conditions are far too dangerous,” Mr Smith said.

“If you have completed hazard reduction burns recently, or had any fires on your property, make sure the fire is completely out so the wind does not pick up embers and cause fires further afield.”

Mr Smith advised residents to familiarise themselves with their bushfire survival plans and take steps to prepare their properties if possible.

“Trim overhanging branches, make sure waste piles are away from buildings and clean gutters,” he said.

“Be careful using machinery in case sparks start a fire and don’t throw cigarette butts out windows.

“These are extreme conditions and they make fighting fires very challenging. Prevention is the key.”

QFRS Director of Regional Operations Col May said Taskforce Vulcan, a joint operation between QFRS, Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS), would continue to fight arson in the area during these difficult conditions.

“Police and firefighters were well aware of the areas that arsonists like to target, and will be monitoring those locations closely,” he said.

“I remind residents that not sticking to permit conditions will also result in legal action and penalties.

“All fire permits will be suspended, rendering any new burns illegal.”

Mr May also reminded residents to ring Triple Zero (000) immediately when they saw an unattended fire, rather than contacting local stations directly.

“Ringing Triple Zero (000) will ensure your enquiry is attended to quickly and allow firefighters to focus on operational matters.”

For further information during the event of a bushfire regularly tune into warnings by listening to your local radio and logging on to the Rural Fire Website at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.

Contact for media enquiries: DCS media unit on (07) 3635 3310.


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