Severe warning for fire issued

HIGH winds, high temperatures and low humidity are set to be a recipe for severe fire danger for the Darling Downs and Granite Belt throughout today.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a warning yesterday morning, saying dry, fresh and gusty west to north-westerly winds ahead of a trough are expected to cause severe fire dangers, with temperatures up to 27 degrees, relative humidity down to 10% and winds to 45kmh expected.

QFRS south-western regional manager rural operations Wayne Waltisbuhl said precautions were being taken by firefighters to prepare for potential vegetation fires.

"We are expecting strong south-westerly winds which will bring with them very dry conditions and make the containment of any wildfires extremely difficult," he said.

"The increase in fire danger across the south-west is forecast mainly for the Darling Downs and Granite Belt areas."

The Glen Rural Fire Brigade first officer Mark Saunders explained that a temporary ban on controlled fires until Monday at the earliest is a precautionary measure in regards to the dry spell in the past few weeks around the Southern Downs.

Accountant and farmer Owen Free believes a fire permit ban would severely inconvenience him.

Mr Free has a cow that has recently died and unless he is able to get rid of it soon, it will start to rot and become a nuisance to neighbours.

"My initial reaction when hearing about the bans was once again our government and bureaucracies have decided to give more laws instead of using common sense," Mr Free said.

Mr Waltisbuhl said firefighters were already seeing fire activity around the region, which made it crucial for residents to make sure they were doing all they could to prepare their homes and properties.

"This is one of the last chances residents may have to prepare their homes and properties, as the bushfire season is upon us as conditions will soon be unfavourable for any hazard reduction burns," he said.

"If they haven't done so already, I urge residents to finalise preparing their property and visit the Rural Fire Service website to download a bushfire survival plan so that no one is caught off guard."

More information about how to prepare for bushfire season can be found at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.

Topics:  darling downs, fire warning, granite belt, warwick, weather



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