Australia — The official start to the fire danger season has been brought forward because of high fuel load across the region and its potential for fire.
Paul Storrs from the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service says many landholders in the region haven’t been diligent enough in their preparation.
“The reason we want to prepare is that the conditions now are ideal to prepare for that time and to mitigate or to stop the potential disasters.
“Now is the time to put in your firebreaks, check those water points, make sure machinery is working, do those strategic burns where necessary in order to protect your assets, your property , your pasture lands… right now is the time to do it.
“We’ve got more fuel than we’ve had in 40 or 50 years in some places and the preparation levels for these possible fires is pretty low at this stage,” he said.
Inspector Mick Dowie from the Charleville Disaster Management Group says preparation is a must with unpredictable lightening strikes often the catalyst for a bush fire out west.
“Lightening can strike anywhere obviously and next minute you’ve got a fire on your doorstep.
“We’re just urging people to heed these warnings.
“It’s been described as one of the biggest fire threats in 50 years so you possibly have people out there who are managing property that have never, in their lifetime, had to face this type of risk.
“I know there’s an expense attached to fire breaks and servicing their equipment but obviously there’s a bigger expense if someone’s life’s put at risk,” he said.
Mick Dowie says heading into the high tourist season it’s important travellers, particularly grey nomads, are aware of risks posed by fire.
“Ideally people should be letting property owners know that they are on the property.
“A lot of these river sightings people can go there without permission and fish and camp but for their safety and for the peace of mind of the property owner it’ll be good to let them know ‘we’re going to be down there,’ if there is a fire they will know and can alert them.
“I urge them to listen to ABC Local Radio and listen in the morning to the news for any alerts from us about bushfires in the area,” he said.