Topics:  bushfire, grass fire, qfrs, weather

Conditions spark grass fire concern

WITH the very dry conditions and heavy grasslands in areas around the Darling Downs, Granite Belt, Warwick and Maranoa, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) South Western Region (SWR) are very concerned about the potential for bushfire threats.

Fuel loads on the ground have not been this high in the past 50 years.

"Fires under the present very dry conditions will be difficult to contain and control. Current wind conditions also dramatically increase the severity of grass fires" QFRS SWR Public Information Officer Di Warr said.

"People need to be more vigilant when using any power tools and machinery as a simple spark on short grass can start a fire very quickly and can get away very easily."

Residents are also reminded they must always tune into their local news broadcaster as emergency services personnel will be providing them with the most up to date information.

"Warnings are not only issued by the media," Ms Warr said.

"Firefighters, State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers or police may conduct doorknocking in the area or you could receive an Emergency Alert message on your mobile or home phone with advice on the situation and where to go for further information.

"It is important to keep a close eye on fire danger ratings in your local area and when travelling in an area of high bushfire risk."

Every day during the bushfire season the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) will forecast an outlook of the Fire Danger Index (FDI).

"This takes into account temperature, humidity, wind speed and dryness of vegetation, and guides QFRS to determine the Fire Danger Rating for the day," Ms Warr said.

"The Fire Danger Rating will advise you in advance of what action you should take if fire breaks out.

"Ratings can range from Low to Moderate to Catastrophic.

"All of these methods of messaging are designed to be as informative as possible so you are able to make the best decisions for your family ahead of bushfire threat".

If you see a fire call Triple 000 as soon as possible.

Residents in bushfire prone areas need to ensure they are aware and familairise themselves with the three levels of bushfire warnings:

Advice - there is a fire in your area, there is currently no threat to property but stay informed.

Watch and Act - there is a fire in your area, you could be impacted and should prepare to enact your bushfire plan.

Emergency warning - there is a fire in your area, you need to enact your bushfire plan and prepare for impact.

Further information can also be obtained by visiting www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.



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