Fires have been prominent throughout the Southern Downs.
Fires have been prominent throughout the Southern Downs. Claudia Baxter

Fire permit ban for Southern Downs

AUTHORITIES are taking no chances with bushfire season, cancelling permits in the Southern Downs until further notice.

The action, which comes into effect from midnight Monday 4 September, is in response to further hot and dry weather which continues its prominence throughout the area.

Tony Johnstone, Rural Fire Service (RFS) Regional Manager, urged residents to not ignore the current conditions the area was experiencing, with very high to severe fire danger expected to impact the region from Sunday.

"People need to be vigilant and watch weather conditions, as there is a real risk of bushfires igniting and spreading quickly,” Mr Johnstone said.

"Such conditions mean even permitted fires would be difficult to control and pose a danger to communities.

"Already we have seen these conditions catch people out in recent weeks, resulting in a number of fires escaping.

"Now is not the time for landholders to be conducting hazard reduction burns on their properties.”

Fired under two metres in any direction will still be permitted, however Mr Johnstone urged residents to take extra precautions when doing so, in the trying conditions.

"Residents needing to use power tools should do so with extreme care and ensure adequate equipment is available to extinguish any fire that may start,” he said.

"This may include having a person available to watch out for any ignitions that occur.”

While fire permits have been cancelled, Mr Johnstone encouraged residents to undertake other mitigation activities to protect their property from fire.

"If they haven't done so already, residents should take the necessary steps to prepare their homes and properties,” he said.

"Clear leaves from gutters, remove debris and flammable materials from around the home and have a Bushfire Survival Plan.”



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