News

Firies raise the alarm

CALL UP: Tirroan Rural Fire Brigade first officer Les Gane is seeking volunteers.
CALL UP: Tirroan Rural Fire Brigade first officer Les Gane is seeking volunteers. Scottie Simmonds

RURAL fire brigades across the Bundaberg region have put out a call to arms for fit and able volunteers in anticipation of a potentially devastating fire season.

Steady rainfall during the past two years has ensured prolific green growth in the Bundaberg region, which poses a fire threat.

But volunteer fire brigades in regional areas have suffered a steady decline in volunteer numbers over the past few years.

The situation reached a crisis point in Gin Gin last month when the rural fire brigade was forced to temporarily disband until more volunteers were found.

Tirroan Rural Fire Brigade first officer Les Gane is in command of a sprawling 550sq km area of land, including the isolated hills of the Doughboy region near Horsecamp.

Mr Gane said many rural fire brigade volunteers were looking towards the approaching fire season with a sense of dread because of a lack of personnel.

"Without enough people on the books, our volunteers often have to do extended hours and work far more and far longer than they should have to," he said.

"It increases the risk of fatigue. If people work extended hours, their clarity of thought and judgment is impaired and they get run down and worn out."

Gin Gin Rural Fire Brigade first officer Lyn Byrne said it was imperative the regional station secured new volunteers before the beginning of the fire season.

"We've got a fully equipped shed here with nobody in it and two trucks we've got nobody to crew," he said.

The official start of the fire season in the Bundaberg region is August, but in frost-prone areas such as Gin Gin and Tirroan, volunteer fire fighters ramp up their operations early.

Mr Byrne said an abundance of green growth encouraged by strong rainfall could make for a disastrous fire season under the right conditions.

"The only word we could use to describe the coming fire season is horrendous," he said.

"There are areas that are green that haven't had a blade of grass on them in more than 20 years."

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service rural operations area director of Bundaberg Tony Johnstone said volunteering with a rural fire brigade was a good way to meet new people and give back to the community.

"Our volunteers develop a broad range of new life skills and gain skills they may otherwise not have had," he said.

To find out more about volunteering at a rural fire brigade, phone 4153 3244.

BY THE NUMBERS

88

Number of rural fire brigades in the Bundaberg region, taking in the Bundaberg and North Burnett regional council areas

2432

Number of rural fire brigade volunteers in the region

132

Number of fire wardens in the region

Topics:  fire season




No jail for league player who punched man

ASSAULT: The impact of the punch broke the victim's left front tooth and caused a puncture wound to his lip.

Nine-month community correction order for CBD assault

Jail drug smuggler caught with five bags of pot

BACK IN COURT: Brooke Marie Glasson was found in possession of marijuana two months after pleading guilty to supplying a dangerous drug at the Maryborough Correctional Centre.

Second chance to stay out of jail

Latest deals and offers

Doco reveals real story behind Black Hawk Down

Former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant shares his story, which helped to inspire the movie Black Hawk Down, in the TV series No Man Left Behind.

FORMER pilot recounts ordeal which inspired a Hollywood movie.

What's on the big screen this week

Toby Kebbell and Jack Huston in a scene from the movie Ben-Hur.

AN OLD classic returns to the big screen with a new young star.

Bachelor Richie gives bacon-loving Noni the boot

Noni Janur features on this season of The Bachelor.

TOOWOOMBA swimwear designer still single but focusing on her career.

Zumbo's Just Desserts serves up magical dishes

Gigi Falanga, left, joins hosts Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo on the TV series Zumbo's Just Desserts.

ADRIANO Zumbo’s decadent creations have become prime-time viewing.

Sir Cliff Richard feels 'best' after sex abuse allegations

Sir Cliff Richard is 'back' to his best after sex abuse claims

Blac Chyna sued after car injured 2 women

Blac Chyna is being sued after her friend crashed into another car

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.