FIRE WARNING: School holiday safety campaign launches
SCHOOL'S out but fire safety is in these holidays.
As the Fraser Coast's fire ban has been extended until midnight October 4, an awareness campaign aimed at making residents better prepared for bushfires has launched.
The government initiative springs from a year of fire emergencies across the state including several fires on the Fraser Coast in Bidwill, Toogoom, Tuan Forest, Dundowran, Owanyilla and Nikenbah within the past fortnight.
All permits to light fires previously issued in the fire ban area have also been cancelled.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Acting Commissioner Mike Wassing said it was important to remain diligent, well prepared and have a plan in case a bushfire happens nearby.
"If you're staying at home you can prepare your household now with some simple steps: clearing debris from your roof and gutters, checking pumps, generators and water systems, ensuring adequate access for fire trucks, trimming low branches and relocating flammable items away from your home," he said.
"If you're planning a trip, please consider the distance from emergency services, the likelihood of heightened bushfire risk at the location you're visiting, and if you're travelling to or going through bushfire-affected areas."
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford said Queensland was still early into its bushfire season so it was vital everyone stayed up to date with the latest on bushfire activity by following QFES on social media, visiting the QFES website, and tuning into local radio.
"Bushfires can strike at any time, often without warning as we saw recently on the Sunshine Coast and in the Gold Coast hinterland, where destructive fires took off within minutes and forced people to evacuate," Mr Crawford said.
Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Cameron Dick said the safety of residents was paramount as heightened fire conditions continued to affect many parts of the state.
"We've seen an intense start to this bushfire season with more than 1600 bushfires since September 1 and no substantial rain on the horizon," he said.
"That's why we're asking Queenslanders, whether they're travelling or staying at home this school holidays, to take preparedness steps now to protect what's most important to them in the future.
"The best time to think about the safety of your family, pets, neighbours, home and business is before an emergency situation reaches you.
"Even in urban areas families should be bushfire-ready, and school holidays make for the perfect time to do things like prepare a survival plan and make sure your insurance is up to date."