A LOCAL fire ban will be in force across Moreton Bay and southern Moreton Bay islands over the entire school holiday period in a preemptive effort to stop bushfires from breaking out.
The ban is in response to a growing bushfire threat in southeast Queensland and will take effect from midnight tomorrow (Friday) and last through until 11.59pm on Monday 2 October.
Islands covered by the ban include North and South Stradbroke, Moreton Island, Russell Island, MacLeay Island, Lamb ISland, Karragarra Island, Peel Island and Coochiemudlo Island.
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The islands fall within the Brisbane, Redland, and Gold Coast City Council local government areas.
Rural Fire Service (RFS) Director of Rural Operations James Haig said all fire permits previously issued for the islands have since been cancelled.
“South-east Queensland is in the grip of a serious bushfire season and current weather conditions are exacerbating the threat of a bushfire starting and spreading,” Mr Haig said.
“I understand the local fire ban may inconvenience families visiting these popular spots during the school holiday period, but this is not a decision we have taken lightly.
“All holidaymakers should plan ahead for this and make sure they have appropriate cooking alternatives in place to comply with the ban.”
Mr Haig said fires within a properly constructed barbecue were excluded from the ban, as long as they were attended at all times.
“We recommend the use of gas-fired barbecues in a cleared area away from vegetation and monitored by a responsible adult at all times,” he said.
The ban does not prevent people from using machinery and power tools, but Mr Haig said people should take precautions and watch for sparks.
“Sparks from a power tool can easily ignite a bushfire under these conditions, so people should avoid using them near dry grass and vegetation,” he said.
“People should also keep a bucket of water or a hose handy if using power tools, slashers or lawn mowers on their property.”
Mr Haig has urged residents and those visiting the islands to take precautions and report any bushfires immediately to Triple Zero (000).
“We have been working closely with our partners at Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and local governments to manage the current bushfire risk on Moreton Bay and southern Moreton Bay islands and ensure the safety of campers over the school holiday period,” he said.
“We hope everyone enjoys the school holidays, but safety is our priority and we need the community to play its part by being vigilant and adhering to the local fire ban.”