Area director Bruce Thompson with the Rural Fire Service truck. Picture: Rhylea Millar
Area director Bruce Thompson with the Rural Fire Service truck. Picture: Rhylea Millar

HIGH DANGER: Fire warning issued for Bundy, Burnett regions

A high fire warning has been issued by The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) to areas within the Wide Bay region including Bundaberg and Burnett.

Rural Fire Service area director Bruce Thompson said the forecast predicts strong winds in excess of 50-60km/h which could pose a further threat to the conditions this weekend.

"The Bureau has issued a fire weather warning for certain areas across Queensland and we're expecting to have some of the influence from the cyclone (Niran) that's tracking in the Northern areas," Mr Thompson said.

"We're looking at not so much rain but strong winds and blustery conditions, so we're putting out the warnings to people and asking them to be extra cautious."

Area director Bruce Thompson with the Rural Fire Service truck. Picture: Rhylea Millar
Area director Bruce Thompson with the Rural Fire Service truck. Picture: Rhylea Millar

The area director said the fire warning has been issued to areas throughout the Wide Bay region including Bundaberg, the North and South Burnett, Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Gympie.

As a result a total fire ban has been put in place while fireys have raised their bushfire preparedness level to ensure crews are ready should something eventuate.

"There will be a very high fire danger as we're moving into the weekend so we've put a suspension on all permits to burn," Mr Thompson said.

"We've asked all the wardens not to issue any permits over this period of time because we don't want fire on the ground while these winds are uncertain and the conditions are erratic."

While the end of summer and beginning of Autumn tends to see rainfall, conditions have remained relatively dry with scattered showers.

"We've had very isolated pockets of rainfall across Bundaberg and the north coast region recently but they've been very isolated (and we didn't get) the backup of the earlier rain over the Christmas period so the moisture in the soil is very low," Mr Thompson said.

"Fires are very persistent, they're difficult to put out and with these wind conditions we're expecting they will be more difficult to contain.

"Higher winds can make problems with the containment of fires so generally speaking we can have more spotting into areas and it also tends to dry out the vegetation if they don't have the moisture."

Rural Fire Service area director Bruce Thompson has offered safety advice to the public as the region is issued a high fire warning. Picture: Rhylea Millar
Rural Fire Service area director Bruce Thompson has offered safety advice to the public as the region is issued a high fire warning. Picture: Rhylea Millar

The public are reminded to apply extra caution over the weekend, review bushfire survival plans and reduce the risk of an incident at home.

"We encourage people to look after their properties, clean gutters, make sure exits are accessible and the yard is tidied so there's nothing that can fly around if we do get these strong winds," Mr Thompson said.

"Please don't light fires - even though the conditions on the ground may seem calm, the upper atmosphere can be unstable as well with the influences of the cyclone and that can cause problems that you're not aware of on the ground.

"You may not feel the change, you may not feel the difference in the wind strengths and direction and it's only once you've lit the fires that you'll have a problem so please don't."

Stay up to date by visiting ruralfire.qld.gov.au or bom.gov.au

For more information please contact your local fire station or wardens.


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