Fire ban extended — fireys call for vigilance

THE fire ban in place for the Bundaberg council area has been extended until midnight Sunday.

The ban extension came into place on Monday and will run the rest of the week.

Local ban rules still apply, fires are prohibited and all permits have been cancelled.

The extension comes as more than 70 fires currently burn across Queensland in an unprecedented start to September.

Rural Fire Service’s Area Director for Bundaberg Bruce Thompson said a period of bad weather over the last week contributed to the near dozen fires in the Bundaberg area.

“We’re not over that bad part yet, but we’re over that hump,” Mr Thompson said.

Abating winds are helping crews extinguish blazes that have begun, though that could change in an instant.

“We’re remaining vigilant, remaining on high alert,” Mr Thompson said, asking members of the community to do the same.

“We’re asking people to be very careful — don’t light any fires.”

Mr Thompson said some of the fires within the last week were suspicious, while others were purely accidental.

“We had one that was potentially hairy (on Tuesday) at Buxton,” he said.

He urged people to keep an eye out when driving in smoky areas, saying that displaced wildlife don’t typically wear hi-vis vests.

Mr Thompson pointed out that not every potential fire danger was obvious, and said that in such dry conditions something as simple as a diesel particulate filter on a car could potentially spark a fire.

“Be mindful of anything that could cause a spark,” he said.

Cane burning is allowed with a permit from the local fire warden although restrictions on burn times have been tightened.

Power tools may still be used, however QFES strongly encouraged anyone performing hot works like welding to have firefighting facilities on hand.

The Newsmail understands crews are still monitoring fires at Buxton and Lowmead.