Illegal burns on the rise in Bundy, and firies are not happy
BUNDABERG firefighters are seeking the community's help to stamp out illegal burns in the lead-up to summer.
Bundaberg Rural Fire Service (RFS) Area Commander Bruce Thompson said firefighters have noticed a number of illegal burns taking place in the region in the past month, including at Bucca, Woodgate, Burnett Heads and Kolonga.
"Illegal burns have become a common occurrence in Bundaberg and it is a real concern for rural firefighters, particularly with summer approaching,” Mr Thompson said.
"Bundaberg is experiencing dry conditions at the moment, and with a high fire danger rating in place it only takes one unpermitted burn to get out of hand to cause serious problems for local communities.”
Mr Thompson said residents who wished to conduct a burn larger than two metres in any direction must contact their local fire warden to obtain a free permit.
"Permits include restrictions on when burns can take place, and permit holders must also notify their neighbours and their fire warden before lighting a fire,” Mr Thompson said.
"These steps are in place to make sure fires are lit and managed safely.
"We encourage landholders to take steps to reduce the chance of bushfires starting on their properties, but they risk putting themselves and their communities in danger if they do not follow correct procedures.”
Mr Thompson said those who did not abide by permit conditions could be penalised.
"There are tough penalties for those who light unauthorised fires, including fines of up to $6095 or six months imprisonment,” Mr Thompson said.
"The RFS can prosecute people for illegal burns, and it is a measure that we may look at using to curb these types of incidents in Bundaberg.”
Landholders can use the Fire Warden Finder tool on the RFS website or contact their area office to locate their local fire warden and obtain a permit. Details are available at ruralfire.qld.gov.au