The Rural Fire Service has warned sparking machinery and out-of-control burns have already started bushfires this season.
The Rural Fire Service has warned sparking machinery and out-of-control burns have already started bushfires this season. Alistair Brightman

Machinery sparks fears as conditions ripen for bushfires

A RURAL Fire Service boss is urging residents to be careful with machinery and know their responsibilities over planned burns with conditions creating a "perfect recipe" for devastating bushfires.

RFS Regional Manager Peter Hollier said a very high fire danger rating would be in place for Wide Bay Burnett today and Thursday, significantly increasing the risk of bushfires for the second week in a row.

Mr Hollier said there had been a number of bushfires throughout Wide Bay and Burnett already this season, including ones which started due to permitted burns escaping and sparks from machinery.

"A combination of warm weather, low humidity and increased winds are creating the perfect recipe for bushfires in Wide Bay and Burnett," Mr Hollier said.

"Fires that start under these conditions could be fast moving and unpredictable, so residents really need to be extra careful if they are conducting permitted burns or using power tools and machinery on their properties.

"Residents need to remain vigilant and report any vegetation fires to 000 immediately."

Mr Hollier said landholders wishing to conduct burns on their properties should also seek advice from their local fire warden before lighting up.

"Your local fire warden will be able to advise you if you require a free permit to conduct a burn on your property," he said.

"A permit is necessary for a fire which is bigger than two metres in any direction, and the system is in place to ensure burns are conducted appropriately, are suitably managed and emergency services are notified.

"Simple but effective steps such as ensuring your permit is valid and that you follow conditions could prevent a bushfire from occurring."

Mr Hollier said that with fire activity increasing throughout Wide Bay and Burnett, residents needed to prepare their homes and properties.

"Residents need to finalise their preparations, including completing a Bushfire Survival Plan to detail exactly how they will respond if a bushfire threatens," he said.

"A well prepared home significantly increases the chance of surviving a bushfire."

Wide Bay and Burnett residents can visit to quickly and easily prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan.

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