A State of Fire Emergency has been declared across 42 Local Government Areas in Queensland,
A State of Fire Emergency has been declared across 42 Local Government Areas in Queensland, following a period of significantly heightened fire weather conditions expected to continue into next week.
The State of Fire Emergency prohibits the lighting of all types of outdoor fires, and bans certain activities that can cause fires to ignite.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Acting Commissioner Mike Wassing said fire crews were battling multiple blazes and all possible steps had to be taken to prevent further fires igniting.
“We’re experiencing tinder box-like conditions across much of the state and all it takes is one spark to start a fire that may burn for days,” Mr Wassing said.
“This declaration is vital to prevent bushfires breaking out and posing a danger to lives and property.”
Mr Wassing said the declaration overrode all existing permits to light fire, banned fireworks and the lighting of any outdoor cooking fires.
“The declaration also prohibits welding, grinding and the use of oxy acetylene cutting or heating outdoors,” he said.
“The use of the machinery and power tools in open areas has the potential to exacerbate the bushfire risk, which is why it is essential people do not use these tools outdoors.
“The declaration also gives QFES the authority to draw on private resources, such as plant and equipment, to assist in firefighting or preparation.”
Mr Wassing said substantial penalties could be issued to those who breached the declaration.
“The penalties for contravening this declaration are serious – a fine of up to $3,336 or two years imprisonment,” he said.
“Our crews are doing a fantastic job protecting lives and property, and we ask that Queenslanders continue to do their part to prevent fires starting and spreading.”
Mr Wassing urged Queenslanders to remain vigilant and continue to follow the advice of authorities.
“Everyone should have a bushfire survival plan and know what they are going to do if a fire approaches,” he said.
“People need to keep up-to-date on the QFES website and social media channels, and tune into local radio.
“It is important they follow the advice given and don’t leave it too late to evacuate if they need to.
“Bushfire prevention is a community effort, so it is essential people report fires and to Triple Zero (000) immediately.”
The declaration will be in effect until revoked.
For us here in Mackay Whitsundays region, we have a Severe Fire Danger Alert.
Issued at 3:49 pm EST on Saturday 9 November 2019.
Hot, dry, fresh and gusty south to southwesterly winds are expected to continue
to produce Severe fire dangers for the rest of today in the Northern Goldfields
and Upper Flinders, Herbert and Lower Burdekin, Central Coast and Whitsundays,
Capricornia, and Wide Bay and Burnett Districts.
For the rest of Saturday 9 November:
Severe Fire Danger is forecast for the following forecast districts:
Northern Goldfields and Upper Flinders, Herbert and Lower Burdekin, Central
Coast and Whitsundays, Capricornia and Wide Bay and Burnett
The Rural Fire Service Queensland advises you to:
- Action your Bushfire Survival Plan now.
- Monitor the fire and weather situation through your local radio station,
www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au and www.bom.gov.au.
- Call 000 (Triple Zero) in an emergency.
For information on preparing for bushfires go to www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.
No further warnings will be issued for this event, but the situation will
continue to be monitored and further warnings issued if necessary.