Be ready for bushfires

BE READY: Mount Isa firefighters Steven Hudson and Matt Smith are gearing up for a busy bushfire season. Photo: Derek Barry

BE READY: Mount Isa firefighters Steven Hudson and Matt Smith are gearing up for a busy bushfire season. Photo: Derek Barry

The weather is quickly heating up in the north west and with plenty of fuel on the ground, Mount Isa firefighters are warning locals the bushfire season is already here.

Mount Isa Acting Fire Station Officer Aaron Pierce said now was the time residents should start preparing.

“As the grass continues to dry out and temperatures increase across Mount Isa and the surrounding areas, we’re urging residents to be vigilant,” Acting Station Officer Pierce said.

Officer Pierce said heightened fire danger was already being experienced in some parts of northern Queenlsand and conditions may worsen in the coming weeks, with warmer temperatures forecast.

“Whether you live on the urban fringe or on a property, it is important for everybody to be vigilant and be ready should bushfire occur near you,” he said.

“You should understand the Fire Danger Rating (FDR) system and what each level of fire danger means.”

The FDR is an assessment of the potential fire behaviour, the ability to suppress fire quickly and the potential of impact on the community should a bushfire occur on a given day.

Officer Pierce said they were asking residents to final preparations on their property and visit the RFS website and download a Bushfire Survival Plan so no-one is caught off guard.

“Clear leaves, twigs, bark and debris from your roof and gutters,” he said.

“Display a prominent house or lot number, in case it’s required in an emergency and ensure there’s adequate access to your property for fire trucks – four metres wide by four metres high.

“You should also remove excess vegetation around your property, mow grass regualrly and trim low-lying branches surrounding your home.”

Officer Pierce said people should never throw cigarette butts out of the car windown and be careful when operating machinery in grassed areas, particularly during bushfire season.

The daily RFS Fire Danger Rating is available at https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/Pages/fdr.aspx

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