ON ALERT: The Rural Fire Service is preparing for the potential of serious bushfires flaring up this weekend and into next week.
ON ALERT: The Rural Fire Service is preparing for the potential of serious bushfires flaring up this weekend and into next week. Alistair Brightman

Firies prepare for dangerous time, 'tinderbox' conditions

THE potential for serious bushfires to flare up this weekend and and into next week has prompted the emergency services to bring in extra firefighting man power and aerial support.

Rural Fire Services Assistant Commissioner Tom Dawson said water-bombing aircraft and extra teams of firefighters were being positioned closer to local crews from the southern tip of the Sunshine Coast up to the Fraser Coast, to be called upon if needed.

"The Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Burnett has experienced an unseasonably long bushfire season and this has demanded a lot of firefighters on the ground, but we are not out of the woods yet," Mr Dawson said.

"Ongoing dry conditions mean parts of the Sunshine Coast and Fraser Coast are like a tinderbox at the moment, and a tiny spark is enough to start a fast-moving bushfire within minutes."

Mr Dawson said the current bushfire season has dragged on much longer than expected and could push into March if existing hot and dry weather conditions persisted.

"It is important to take pre-emptive measures to prepare ourselves for what the remainder of the season throws at us," he said.

"In the last two weeks we have experienced a number of serious bushfires, particularly at Coolum, Torbanlea (north of Maryborough) and Sippy Downs, at a time when bushfire activity is traditionally at its lowest.

"Current weather conditions mean incidents like these may be replicated in other areas of the Sunshine Coast and up to the Fraser Coast."

Mr Dawson said residents should have a Bushfire Survival Plan so they knew what to do if there was a fire in their area.

"It is too late to be making decisions about what to do when flames are licking the edge of your property," he said.

"A Bushfire Survival Plan takes minutes to put together and it could make all the difference when a bushfire strikes.

"We have resources ready to respond at a moment's notice, but we also need the community to remain alert and be proactive to ensure everyone stays safe this bushfire season."



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