Danger period prompts fire safety

STRICT new rules will be in place across the Bundaberg region from next week, after a fire danger period was declared from next Sunday.

Queensland Fire and rescue mitigation and education officer for the North Coast Region Craig Magick urged property owners to clear their land, particularly around buildings.

“It is also important to make sure there is clear access to your residence to allow for fire trucks, and that residents have prepared a bush fire survival plan,” he said.

QFRS rural operations manager North Coast Region Peter Hollier applauded residents wanting to reduce fuel loads on their own properties, but warned they must do this by obtaining a permit.

He said from midnight on August 29, to midnight on January 2 next year, residents would have to plan carefully before lighting a fire.

“Not all fires, regardless of size, can continue to be lit without a permit during the Fire Danger Period,” Mr Hollier said.

“Some types of fires have previously been notified as exempt from the requirement for a permit and these exemptions continue provided the use of fire is not prohibited by any local government law.”

He said people using a fire outdoors for cooking on a barbecue or a camp fire did not require a permit.

“Conditions applicable to campfires include ensuring the ground and air space is clear of flammable material to prevent the escape of the fire, the fire and fuel used are the minimum to conduct the fire and do not occupy an area of more than one square metre,” he said.

“This will be especially relevant to popular camping areas — by all means enjoy this great time of year outdoors but remember it's vital that a campfire is built in a way that will contain the fire and that the fire is attended at all times.”

In regard to fires lit outdoors for cooking, a properly prepared fireplace includes; fixed fireplaces in parks and campgrounds, trenches at least 30cm deep in a cleared area and portable barbecues.

“If you need to get a permit it‘s a simple process of applying through your fire warden,” Mr Hollier said.

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