Gold Coast fire risk set to increase – what can you do?

There are predictions it will be a dangerous fire season as south east Queensland swelters through another unseasonably warm day.

The Weather Bureau tells us the fire risk is “very high” with the expected top in Coomera and Nerang tipped to reach 33 degrees.

Rural Fire Service Assistant Commissioner Tom Dawson said “the Bureau of Meteorology has predicted that a high pressure system off the southeast coast will push dry, and sometimes gusty easterly winds over the interior of the state”.


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But he said the situation on the Gold Coast is not looking too bad at this stage.

“You’ve got very little burning of concern on the coastal strip on the front, certainly when you get back into the hinterland a little bit you’ve got a couple of fires which have been milling around in the high country out there for the last few weeks and few days”.

“But everything down there is contained and there’s no danger at this stage” Mr Dawson said.

He also said the warmer than usual weather is not helping “it also dries out the fuel load, the grass and the forest much quicker”.

“What moisture is in the ground quickly disappears and they’re the kinds of things we sort of rely on to help us contain fires at different times of the year but we are drawing close to summer and the season has high potential”.

He added that they are tackling major bushfires burning near Townsville and Bundaberg from the air using Air Observation Planes “they actually map the current position of the fire, they give us good information about the intensity of the fire and the direction the fire is heading in and then we can take appropriate action”.

“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,” Mr Dawson said.

“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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