Australia– With firefighters battling more than 100 bushfires across north Queensland in the past two weeks, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is urging all residents to be vigilant and well prepared.
Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) Acting Bushfire Safety Officer Kody Royal said recent major bushfires at Stuart and Bluewater were a reminder for all residents to prepare their homes and develop a Bushfire Survival Plan.
Very high fire danger, with strong winds gusting up to 45km/h, is forecast again this week across western and coastal areas of north Queensland, Mr Royal said.
During these conditions, one spark from power tools, farm machinery or a cigarette butt could be enough to start a massive bushfire that could threaten homes and lives, he said.
He said while there are no current fire bans in place, people should take extreme care when using power tools and machinery.
Make sure you have appropriate resources to put out a fire if one starts and remember you could be liable for any damage a fire may cause.
If you have to use machinery during dry conditions, QFES also recommends having someone available, other than just the tool operator, to watch closely for ignitions which may occur.
Mr Royal also reminded motorists of the dangers of flicking cigarette butts outside car windows.
Cigarette butts are one of the major causes of dangerous roadside fires which can be avoided if people dont throw cigarette butts from their cars, he said.
Smoke haze caused by these fires has the potential to cause serious accidents particularly on the highway when people are travelling at high speed.
Every cigarette butt flicked out the car window has the potential to cause a life-threatening fire for not only fellow motorists, but emergency crews who are called to attend to a situation which could have been avoided.”