Rural Fire Service Queensland issues warning

THE Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) is urging Queenslanders to be ready and alert with heightened fire conditions predicted for the most of the state today and in coming days.

Acting RFSQ Assistant Commissioner Tom Dawson said a very high fire danger rating was in place due to high temperatures and strong winds passing through the region.

"The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted that a high pressure system off Queensland's southeast coast will push dry, and sometimes gusty easterly winds over the interior of the state," Mr Dawnson said.

"Firefighters were busy on the weekend battling fires in Northern, Central and North Coast regions due to heightened fire conditions.

"Warm temperatures combined with low humidity and increased winds create dangerous conditions where unattended or mismanaged fires may create sparks and cause fires to spread quickly.

"The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Fire Investigation Unit and Queensland Police Service Arson Squad will be monitoring all fire developments to determine if any criminal or negligent actions are occurring.

"While firefighters are taking precautions to prepare for the heightened fire conditions, we're also asking residents to be extra vigilant and proactive in reporting bushfires.

"Report any suspicious behaviour by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or contacting your local police station.

If you see something, or know something, say something."

Mr Dawson said landholders wanting to light a fire in the open should ensure they have a permit from their local Fire Warden, particularly during very high fire danger.

"The Permit to Light Fire system is enforced to verify that burns are conducted during appropriate weather conditions and emergency services are notified," he said.

"Landowners who have conducted hazard reduction burns recently must take immediate steps to ensure their fire has been properly extinguished and residual fires contained."

Mr Dawson said all residents across Queensland should take care to avoid fire risks.

"People should never throw cigarette butts out of the car window and be careful when operating machinery in grassed areas," he said.

"Queenslanders are also advised to take extra care when using power tools that might spark into flammable vegetation." Further information on bushfire preparation can be found at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.



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