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Bushfire preparation sees smoke over Warwick

WHERE there is smoke there is fire, but this time flames have been preventative. 

A permitted burn off in Rosenthal Heights has seen plumes of smoke of west Warwick this afternoon. 

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Service spokeswoman said the blaze was lit just before 3pm.  

The burn-off comes as the Queensland Rural Fire Service urges landholders in south west Queensland to prepare their properties for bushfire season. 

RFS area director Tim Chittenden said the region would move into bushfire season quickly.

"The area from Warwick south to Stanthorpe will have a higher bushfire risk this year as there's been a lot of frost and it's very dry at the moment," Mr Chittenden said.

"We have already seen a few bushfires in the area as fuel loads are high."

Mr Chittenden said it was a great time for landholders to prepare their property and reduce fuel loads as most of the region's vegetation had dried out.

"Too often we see landholders relying solely on firefighters to put in fire breaks and burn fuel loads on their own properties, without taking the steps to reduce fire risk themselves," he said.

"Regular burns are the most effective way to manage fuel loads, which includes dead leaves and bark build-up.

"If you own the fuel, you own the fire - if it's your land and your fuel, you hold the legal responsibility to manage the fuel and reduce fire risk on your land.

"By having low fuel areas, it helps firefighters successfully and safely control bushfires."

Mr Chittenden said it was essential for property owners to obtain a permit if they planned to burn fires more than 2m in any direction.

"The Permit to Light a Fire system ensures burns are conducted at an appropriate time of the year, are suitably managed and emergency services are notified," he said.

"You should also keep your neighbours in the loop if you are applying for a permit.

"Permits are free and can be obtained from your local Fire Warden.

"Tough penalties apply for people who light fires without a permit."

Mr Chittenden said it was also important residents have an up-to-date bushfire survival plan.

For further information on preparing for bushfire season, go to ruralfire.qld.gov.au. 

Topics:  bushfire season qfes warwick community



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