Fires signal need to prepare

FEARS of a horror fire season were fuelled yesterday after a Glen Aplin house was destroyed by fire and a large grass fire at Ballandean kept firefighters busy all afternoon.

A Queensland Fire and Rescue spokesman said crews were called to a house fire on Emu Swamp Rd at 12.12pm yesterday, where they were confronted with a house which was fully engulfed in flames.

Firefighters were on the scene until 4pm. Fortunately nobody was home at the time of the blaze.

A massive grass fire engulfed about 80ha of land at Ballandean at 12.41pm but fire crews successfully saved two structures that were threatened.

The weekend fires serve as a timely reminder for all residents to make preparations ahead of what could be a disastrous fire season and burn, slash or plough excess vegetation that can become bushfire fuel.

Massie district volunteer community educator Alan Beaver said a couple of factors had intensified the summer fire danger.

“Because we have had such a long drought people have gotten rid of their animals, which means they aren't grazing and there is more grass,” he said.

This coupled with the extended wet season seen across the region during the past year means there are masses of long grass lying around adding to the risk of serious fires.

But before you start burning, Mr Beaver is urging people to consider their options.

“Burning is not the only option. You can slash, graze, plough – there are plenty of other things you can do,” Mr Beaver said.

“Fire is a good option and I don't want to discount it but people should know it is not the only thing they can do.”

Anybody considering burning off is reminded they must have a permit and can contact their local fire service for advice.

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