Cedar Pocket Greens Creek first officer Ray Mullaly sifts through the aftermath of a control burn at East Deep Creek, where several fires broke out nearby.
Cedar Pocket Greens Creek first officer Ray Mullaly sifts through the aftermath of a control burn at East Deep Creek, where several fires broke out nearby. Scott KOvacevic

Firefighters inflamed by community ignorance

RURAL volunteer firefighters are upset with disregard for safety requirements, following the breakout of two separate blazes at East Deep Creek.

Already on site managing a control burn in the area on Sunday morning, crews were forced to respond to the incidents which flared up nearby over the next 24 hours.

Cedar Pockets Green Creek first officer Ray Mullaly expressed his dismay over some community members not paying attention to the issued safety advice.

He stressed people needed to remember rural brigade members were sacrificing a great deal to help keep the community safe.

"Volunteers give their time free,” he said.

"They leave work to attend these jobs.”

Veteran Rural Fire Brigade first officer Ted Uebergang echoed the sentiments.

"We've had a number of fires that are larger than 2m in any direction in our Veteran area,” Mr Uebergang said.

He pointed out fires generate their own wind, and it was incredibly easy for a small flame to ignite a serious blaze.

"It only takes one little ember to get blown to start a fire in these dry conditions,” he said. "If you're going to have a fire you've got to do the right thing.”

Mr Uebergang said the lack of rain had made conditions quite dangerous right now, noting while there was no fire ban in place several rural brigades were exercising extreme caution.

"At the moment there are no permits being issued by a number of brigades in the area.

"Conditions are just too dangerous at the moment.”

Two Posi-Track machines had to be used to help control the blazes in scrubland areas, and he expressed frustration at the impact carelessness had on their efforts.

"That's a cost to us as taxpayers,” he said, pointing out it was the financial impact was only part of the story, a it also required manpower to organise and operate the machines.

For those caught ignoring safety guidelines, Mr Uebergang suggested legislative change might provide a good deterrent by forcing those found responsible to foot the bill themselves.

"It would be good if at a higher level a decision was made,” he said. "We have repeat offenders which keep doing this kind of thing.”

For information about fire safety in the area go to ruralfire.qld.gov.au

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