Warnings of high fire danger

THE Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) is reminding residents in the Warrego, Maranoa and Channel Country Districts to prepare and remain vigilant with a very high fire danger rating issued for the area today.

Residents should take a number of precautions which include obtaining a permit to light a fire larger than two metres in any direction, avoid throwing cigarette butts outside car windows and use caution when operating machinery in grassed areas.

By obtaining a permit QFRS is aware of these fires and can advise the permit holder if it is unsafe for them to light a fire on any particular day. It is vital to remember on days of heightened fire danger one spark can result in a fire which can end up threatening properties and lives.

Permits are free of charge from your local fire warden. For further information on how to obtain a permit and to prepare for bushfire season visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au .

Queenslanders are also being urged to familiarise themselves now with bushfire warnings to avoid confusion later.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) Regional Manager of Rural Operations for South Western Region Wayne Waltisbuhl said different warning messages could be issued to provide valuable and concise information during a bushfire event.

“Emergency services personnel may issue community warning messages through the media during an incident and will inform residents of the steps they must take to survive the bushfire,” Mr Waltisbuhl said.

Mr Waltisbuhl said there were three levels of messaging which could be issued as an event escalated. These include:

  • Advice – there is a fire in your area, there is currently no threat to property but stay informed;
  • Watch and Act – there is a fire in your area, you could be impacted and should prepare to enact your bushfire plan; and
  • Emergency warning – there is a fire in your area, you need to enact your bushfire plan and prepare for impact.

“Residents must always tune into their local news broadcaster as emergency services personnel will be providing them with the most up to date information,” he said.

“Warnings are not only issued by the media. Firefighters, State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers or police may conduct doorknocking in the area or you could receive an Emergency Alert message on your mobile or home phone with advice on the situation and where to go for further information.”

Mr Waltisbuhl said it was important to keep a close eye on Fire Danger Ratings in your local area and when travelling in an area of high bushfire risk.

“Everyday during the bushfire season the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) will forecast an outlook of the Fire Danger Index (FDI). This takes into account temperature, humidity, wind speed and dryness of vegetation, and guides QFRS to determine the Fire Danger Rating for the day,” he said.

“The Fire Danger Rating will advise you in advance of what action you should take if fire breaks out. Ratings can range from Low to Moderate to Catastrophic.

“All of these methods of messaging are designed to be as informative as possible so you are able to make the best decisions for your family ahead of bushfire threat.”

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