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Gympie on alert as fire danger rating rises

VERY HIGH FIRE DANGER: Gympie residents have been put on alert for tomorrow and the weekend as the fire danger rating for the region rises.
VERY HIGH FIRE DANGER: Gympie residents have been put on alert for tomorrow and the weekend as the fire danger rating for the region rises. NSW RFS

GYMPIE residents have been put on alert for tomorrow and the weekend as the fire danger rating for the region rises.

Rural Fire Service North Coast regional manager Peter Hollier said a very high danger rating would be in place tomorrow and on Saturday, before easing on Sunday.

Mr Hollier said firefighters were prepared and that residents should take steps to reduce the risk of a bushfire starting or spreading.

A very high fire danger rating means fires could be difficult to control and homes may be threatened or damaged, so it is important Wide Bay and Burnett residents are cautious, Mr Hollier said.

"That means delaying planned burns until fire conditions improve or, if you must conduct a burn, ensuring you have a permit in place, you abide by the conditions and you contact your local fire warden before lighting up.”

Mr Hollier said residents should also avoid the use of power tools and farm machinery, if possible.

"A spark from power tools, mowers or farm machinery could be enough to start a small fire,” he said.

"Combined with dry conditions and a very high fire danger rating, a small fire has the potential to spread quickly.

"If you have to use machinery today or Saturday, the RFS recommends you have another person available to watch closely for ignitions, and have direct access to portable water supply.”

Mr Hollier said people should also take precautions if camping outdoors.

"If you are lighting a campfire, remember to surround it with large rocks and position it in a cleared area away from grass and scrub and overhanging branches,” he said.

”All campfires must be extinguished with water. This cools a campfire much faster than extinguishing with sand and significantly reduces the risk of sparking a bushfire.”

Wide Bay Burnett has experienced a number of vegetation fires already this bushfire season, including fires at Borumba Dam and Glenwood earlier this week, leading Mr Hollier to urge residents to put steps in place to prepare themselves and their families.

"Recent vegetation fires and heightened fire conditions are a timely reminder for residents to make sure they have a Bushfire Survival Plan in place,” he said.

"The plan should detail exactly how you will prepare and what action you will take if a bushfire threatens.”

Gympie residents can visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au to quickly and easily prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan.

Topics:  fire and emergency service fire danger warning

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