24 October, 2023
Multiple fires prompt local ban
SEVERAL fires wreaked havoc over the north last week, leaving property owners defending themselves for over 48 hours straight.
Last week alone, three “prepare to leave” warnings were issued in the Mareeba area whilst Tinaroo and Kairi were on watch for several grass fires burning in the area.
Over the weekend, a prepare to leave notice was put in place at Millstream whilst Koah was put on a watch and act alert.
A fire ban was also put in place for the entire Far North, prohibiting the lighting of all fires north of the Hinchinbrook Shire, which has been extended to the 30 October.
Incident control coordinator Neil Parker said more than 60 crews, with majority being volunteers, worked through the day and night to protect properties across the region.
While majority of the fires have been deemed accidental and not suspicious, the local fire crew is urging locals to keep an eye out and stay alert.
“We are investigating a couple of the fires … so locals need to remain vigilant and careful whilst it is really dry,” Mr Parker said.
“One of the issues is permitted fires that aren’t being put out properly as well as people welding and slashing – there’s a number of things that cause accidental fires.”
He urged property owners to clean up around their yards to ensure there is nothing that can catch alight in the event of a fire and to start creating fire breaks to keep fuel loads low.
To report suspicious activity, contact the Mareeba Incident Control Centre on 4092 1044 or CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.