The fire danger rating was changed early last month.
The fire danger rating was changed early last month.

Fireys concerned over ‘false sense of security’

CONCERNS have grown for Stanthorpe fireys in recent weeks, as they worry people are becoming too complacent with the current fire regulations.

Sugarloaf Rural Fire Brigade First Officer James Massey said just because the weather was cooling down, it did not mean there was any less of a risk when starting a fire.

“The biggest thing that is going to happen now is we are going to get frost that cures the grass,” Mr Massey said.

“The frost makes the grass much more dry and in fact more flammable and a higher risk of starting a fire.”

He said as long as the impacts of the prolonged drought hung around, so would the risks of uncontrollable fires.

Stanthorpe Group Officer Pedro Curr with Sugarloaf Rural Fire Brigade First Officer James Massey (photo was taken prior to social distancing restrictions).
Stanthorpe Group Officer Pedro Curr with Sugarloaf Rural Fire Brigade First Officer James Massey (photo was taken prior to social distancing restrictions).

“The drought is far from over,” he said.

“People are lulled into a false sense of security because it is getting colder when in fact the fuel load is bigger on a ground that is extremely dry.”

Mr Massey said all it took was one gust of wind to blow in the wrong direction to result in a recipe for disaster.

“That is what people don’t realise and understand – a wind change can completely and utterly change the fire around.”

With this said, Stanthorpe Group Officer Pedro Curr enforced the recommendation of people who want to light a fire to follow the hefty restrictions.

“No fire is to be lit before 15.00 hours,” Mr Curr said.

“You must have a permit if you wish to light a fire and you must contact the Group Officer in your area and inform them that’s what you are doing.”

Mr Curr said the level of risk involved in lighting a fire in our region was far too high to not be following restrictions.

“It is critical,” he said.

“There are restrictions in place for a reason.

“There is the potential for it to be a windy day and it has the chance to just take off.

“Do the right thing and follow the restrictions.”

Stanthorpe Border Post


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