Fire threat in region

HIGH fuel loads across Queensland could mean a bad bushfire season for the state, authorities warn.

Heavy summer rains have seen vegetation thrive in the Gympie region.

Acting North Coast Regional Rural Operations manager Gary Seaman said last year’s abundant summer rainfall combined with warmer weather allowed grass to grow, which could pose risks in grassland areas.

Mr Seaman said with a cold winter, frosts and dry westerly winds, grass would dry out and create the potential for an early and busy grass fire season. The only thing that would slow it down, he said, would be a lot of rain in August.

Just how bad the bushfire threat will be this year will depend on the extent of winter rains, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Commissioner Lee Johnson said.

“A lot of preparations have gone into understanding the amount of grass that is in many parts of Queensland as a result of excellent rain earlier this year and late last year,” Mr Johnson said. “We could expect in many parts of Queensland to get slightly higher than average winter rains and if that happens the situation will moderate,” he said.

Gympie Times


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