Forecast points to fire danger

LANDOWNERS are being asked to reschedule any burns this week following the forecast of a very high to severe fire danger over the coming days.

QFRS south west regional manager Rural Operations Wayne Waltisbuhl said the entire region was on a heightened alert in the coming days.

He said measures were being taken by firefighters to prepare for potential grass fires.

"We have taken heed of weather forecasts and we are expecting to experience very dry conditions and west south westerly winds," he said.

"These conditions will provide severe fire danger ratings, especially in the most western parts of south- west Queensland on Friday."

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," he said.

"Landowners who have conducted hazard reduction burns recently are strongly encouraged to take immediate steps to ensure that their fire has been properly extinguished or to make sure the residual fire is contained so that it will not escape with the forecast winds on Friday."

Mr Waltisbuhl reminded residents of the declaration of a Fire Danger Period for the State.

"Except for a fire for cooking or warmth, residents are not allowed to light a fire regardless of size without a permit since midnight last Sunday, September 4, to midnight on Sunday, January 1, next year.

"This is not to be confused with a fire ban under which permits are being cancelled," he said.

"This measure has been put in place to assist the rural fire service to monitor the issuing of permits and ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent fire escapes.

"Permits can be obtained for free from the local fire wardens."

Obtaining a permit to burn from your local fire warden is a simple process and ensures appropriate safeguards are in place.

"We are also asking people not to throw cigarette butts out of car windows and to be careful when operating machinery in grassed areas," Mr Waltisbuhl added.

"A number of fires have recently been started by slashers, movers, graders and welders. One spark can result in a fire that can end up threatening properties and lives.

"People operating these types of machinery should have some equipment with them to be able to extinguish these small fires before they get out of control."

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