Bushfire rages behind houses in Koongal on the outskirts of Rockhampton in previous seasons. Pic: Chris Ison
Bushfire rages behind houses in Koongal on the outskirts of Rockhampton in previous seasons. Pic: Chris Ison

CQ residents warned to prepare bushfire safety plans

RESIDENTS across Central Queensland are being warned to prepare for more bushfires as an unseasonable heatwave continues to grip the region.

With temperatures expected to reach the mid to late 30s this week, experts predict dry conditions and strong wings could prove unfavourable.

QFES Chief Superintendent Steve Smith said residents should be ensure their fire plans were up to scratch in case disaster struck.

His dire warning comes after a large bushfire last week consumed parts of Nerimbera in Rockhampton’s north.

The frightening scenes even saw some residents evacuate as winds forced the blaze in direction of their properties.

RELATED: Crews continuing the fight to contain Nerimbera fire
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QFES Chief Superintendent Steve Smith.
QFES Chief Superintendent Steve Smith.

“We’re going to see some quite warm temperatures extend into the next few days around the central part of Central Queensland.”

“With that will come some quiet warm temperatures, but also some drying winds which will concern our firefighters for any ongoing fires we might have.”

Sadly, last year’s devastating bushfire season had still rendered parts of the region bare of vegetation – despite recent rainfall.

“Although we have had some rain, things are really dry in the bush, we’ve seen some moisture in coastal parts of the region,” Mr Smith said.

“The western parts are extremely dry, and the northern and south parts are still really dry too.”

To help best prepare, residents are urged to ensure their fire safety plan is both up-to-date and ready to enact.

READ MORE: BUSHFIRES: Police set sights on would-be firebugs
READ MORE: WEATHER: Severe fire danger, hot temps for parts of CQ

Crews work to contain a bushfire which took hold of Nerimbera last week.
Crews work to contain a bushfire which took hold of Nerimbera last week.

“They need to be aware that when we do get hotter conditions come through with drying winds, fires can easily start in areas which might have been quite damp in weeks prior.”

“People need to understand the risk in their local area - we are in the heightened fire risk part of the year at the moment.”

Suggestions to help alleviate possible fires around properties include the management of debris, clean gutters, access to protective clothing and a clear exit plan.

“If their plan is to evacuate, they need to leave early, keep an eye on social media and take heed of the warnings issued,” Mr Smith said.

READ MORE: More bushfires, floods expected for CQ
READ MORE: Residents asked to prepare before bushfire conditions worsen
READ MORE: Thousands of RFS volunteers kicked out over blue cards

Bushfire consumers part of Lake Mary Rd, Yeppoon last year. Picture: Stacey Barry
Bushfire consumers part of Lake Mary Rd, Yeppoon last year. Picture: Stacey Barry

He added situations like the Nerimbera blaze – which intensified after jumping containment lines – could again occur with the extreme heat.

It should most certainly act as a warning to the community, he said.

“It is a reminder that fires are still burning, although we have seen some humid conditions and some relatively damp conditions, the ground is still extremely dry.”

ROCKHAMPTON FORECAST

Mon – Max. 36, Sunny

Tues – Max. 35, Sunny

Wed – Max. 36, Mostly Cloudy

Thurs – Max. 32, Partly Cloudy

Fri – Max. 34, Partly Cloudy

Sat – Max. 36, Mostly Sunny

Sun – Max. 38, Hot and Mostly Sunny


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