Fire danger high despite floods

FIRE authorities are warning homeowners not to be complacent over summer because of recent good rainfall in the region.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service rural fire operations manager Tony Johnstone said it would only take four days for vegetation to dry out and become a fire risk again.

But he said firefighters were not expecting anything as big as the fire storms that ravaged the area last year.

While the wet conditions were making the task of firefighters easier, Mr Johnstone said they could also be storing up problems for the next fire season.

“It means we're going to have a big fuel load out there for next year,” he said.

“Hazard reduction burns will have to be done.”

Mr Johnstone said the district would probably take a big fuel load into winter.

“We won't know how big a danger that is until we see how wet winter is,” he said.

Mr Johnstone said government departments such as Main Roads could carry out controlled burns during winter if they wanted cooler fires.

He said his brigades had carried out several controlled burns just before the rains started to reduce the load.

“People should remember there's still dry stuff under the wet vegetation,” he said.

The state government obviously believes there is little threat of major fires, cancelling the Queensland Fire Danger Period from today.

Emergency services minister Neil Roberts said this was due to unusually heavy rainfall combined with an early start to the storm and cyclone season.

He said the main threat of fire season had passed.

“Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) declared the Fire Danger Period on August 29 following last year's horror fire season which saw thousands of bushfires devastate parts of the state,” he said.

“Thankfully this year we have had a reduced fire threat; the vegetation is far less dry and the drought index is much more favourable.

“Those factors, combined with the current La Nina weather pattern bringing wetter conditions, have led to the QFRS Commissioner Lee Johnson declaring that the Fire Danger Period is no longer required.”

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