7 July, 2022
Permits and plans a must to stay safe
AS the weather gets drier, the risk of fires rises, sparking Tablelands firefighters to urge people to ensure they have a fire permit before burning off and to always have a plan in the event of a bushfire.
With the effects of 2019 and early 2020 wildfires still scarring properties and families in the Far North, the Western Command sector is more prepared then ever for the new season.
With people already beginning to back burn to minimise the effects of spontaneous bushfires, authorities are urging residents to think smarter to avoid turning a controlled flame into an out-of-control flame.
Although the risk of bushfires at this stage is low, Acting Area Commander Inspector Jack Emeleus is urging residents to take the necessary safety steps.
He says the best way to ensure a safe and controlled burn is to get in contact with a local fire warden to obtain a permit.
“To get a permit you need to demonstrate that you have the capacity to look after a fire and that you are in conditions that are safe – you can’t light a fire if it is too windy or too dry or if you live in an urban area,” Inspector Emeleus said.
“So, it’s really important that you speak to your local fire warden if you want to do some hazard reduction burning.
“As you can imagine we get hundred of 000 calls a day about fires.
If someone sees a fire, they call us and if we send our crew out to somewhere such as Speewah to check it out, in the time we drove out and back, almost all of the north side of Mareeba is unprotected.”
“So that’s why it is really important to seek a permit when burning.”
As well as working with locals to get permits, a mitigation unit has now been implemented in the command, with mitigation officer Aaron Reagan now working closely with councils on their plans.
With the results of the last few bushfire seasons in mind, both auxiliaries and rural brigades have upgraded in terms of numbers, equipment and understanding in an emergency.
To contact a local fire warden about obtaining a fire permit, visit www.qfes.qld.gov.au/safety/education/using-fire-outdoors/lighting-fires-in-queensland