Firies urge residents to exercise 'extreme caution'
RESIDENTS are being warned to exercise extreme caution and hold off on any non-essential burns after local fire wardens stated the area was "in the grip of bushfire season".
QFES Rural Fire Service officer Mark Russell said months of intense dry weather conditions had created a very high fire danger in the Wide Bay area.
"A restriction has been placed on cane-related permits so that standing cane and cane trash is only burnt between 6pm and 6am," he said.
Mr Russell said this bushfire season was shaping up to be one of the longest in recent times.
"Ex-Tropical Cyclone's stripped vegetation from trees and increased fuel loads in many parts of Wide Bay Burnett," he said.
"A warmer than average winter and a drier than average autumn has exacerbated this, which means the Wide Bay Burnett is facing a protracted fire season."
To minimise the risk of a bushfire starting and spreading, Mr Russell said residents needed to prepare.
"Residents should take proactive measures around the home by removing leaf litter, clearing gutters, mowing lawns, keeping vegetation away from the home and removing flammable materials, such as rubbish, from the yard," he said.
"Residents should make sure a fire truck can access their property quickly, safely and easily in the event of a fire."
Mr Russell said the Wide Bay Burnett had experienced an active start to the 2017 bushfire season.
"Since August 1, when bushfire season traditionally starts, QFES has attended more than 150 bushfires across the Wide Bay Burnett region, including severe incidents at Doughboy and Burrum Heads," he said.
"The bushfires crews have attended have ranged from small incidents requiring one to two crews, to larger protracted incidents requiring multiple resources and waterbombers."
Mr Russell said fire permit restrictions a would stay in place until the region experiences significant rain.
Stay safe this bushfire season
- A number of factors go towards deciding the fire danger in the region. These factors include the soil moisture, dry fuel loads such as dry grass and leaf debris, high temperatures, wind and humidity.
- All homes should have a bushfire survival plan that maps out what to do if a bushfire strikes. It is too late to start planning when a bushfire is at your door. All members of the family need to understand what to do. Those with pets need to have measures in place for the care of animals during a bushfire.
- The community need to be extra vigilant at this time due to the heightened fire danger.
- Remove leaf litter, clear gutters, mow lawns, keep vegetation away from the home and remove flammable materials, such as rubbish, from the yard
- Clear access to a property can make all the difference when a fire breaks out