Controlled burns for Granite Belt

IN A BID to reduce fuel loads, the Southern Downs Regional Council will conduct controlled burns on several properties in the Granite Belt next Wednesday August 17.

The hazard reduction will be conducted in partnership with the Rural Fire Service, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and Department of Main Roads.

Burns will take place at the Stanthorpe Industrial Estates, along sections of the New England Highway and on property at Texas Road, Manning Street and McKenzie Street.

“This is a necessary step in managing fire hazard on these Council owned properties,” said CEO Rod Ferguson.

Householders are advised to take any necessary precautions against possible smoke hazards in these areas and call council on 4681 5500 if they have any questions.

The hazard reduction exercise will be subject to weather conditions on the day and may be cancelled if windy weather presents.

The advice about the burns comes as the Queensland Fire and Rescue Services has issued a warning about forecasts of high and very high fire danger in South West Queensland over the coming days.

QFRS South Western Rural Operations Manager Wayne Waltisbuhl said the entire region was on a heightened alert this week and measures were being taken by fire-fighters to prepare for potential grass fires.

“We have taken heed of the Bureau of Meteorology’s weather forecasts and we are expected to experience very dry conditions and westerly winds until Friday,” he said.

“These conditions will provide high to very high fire danger ratings, especially in the most western parts of South West Queensland.”

Two fire spotter planes will be in the air for the next two days, on the lookout for potential problem areas and water bombers are also at the ready should the need arise.

Mr Waltisbuhl urged residents to make sure they were doing all they could to prepare their homes and properties.

“We have already postponed a number of permit burns in the region but if you have a valid permit, please rethink the need to light up over the coming days if at all possible,” he said.

“If you do not have a permit, you should not be lighting a fire larger than two metres in any direction. Permits are a way for the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service to be aware of where these fires are and can advise when conditions are unsuitable.

“As always, we are asking people to ensure they are not throwing cigarette butts out of car windows and to be careful when operating machinery in grassed areas.

“I urge all residents to prepare their properties now if they have not already done so and visit the rural fire website to download a bushfire survival plan so no one is caught off guard.”

More information about permits to light fire and on preparing for bushfire season can be found by visiting .

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