Common sense is key: Region’s disaster crisis team ready

MEETINGS are in progress, the situation is being watched vigilantly and the Fraser Coast Local Disaster Management Group is ready to step into action should catastrophe hit.

While there have been no major fires in the region, blazes around the Fraser Coast's boundary, coupled with dangerous fire weather conditions forecast, pushed the LDMG to upgrade the area's status to 'alert' yesterday.

Fraser Coast's LDMG acting chairman and Division 9 councillor Stuart Taylor said this meant the region was at a higher level of awareness.

"It is not dissimilar to how we would respond if there was a cyclone in the Coral Sea. We are continuing to do what we do, with a heightened level of vigilance," he said.

"Make sure you are up to date with current information by listening to the radio, checking QFES website and social media as well as looking at updates to the Fraser Coast's disaster management dashboard."

Cr Taylor said common sense was key.

"The thing with bushfires as opposed to flooding and cyclones, which our community are used to, is we have a certain amount of time before it happens, you can try and predict things and it is a much more methodical process. But bushfires, they can come very quickly, not only those in the south migrating to us but sudden fires starting due to environmental issues or human intervention," he said.

"When we talk about common sense it is the idea that one spark from any source can start a catastrophic fire."

Cr Taylor urged residents to follow tips on the QFES website.

"From a prevention point of view, be aware there is a current fire ban so that means not only are fires or barbecues banned but also using equipment like angle grinders in backyard could spark," he said.

"Don't throw cigarette butts out the window, don't throw bottles where sunlight can concentrate through them.

"Even things like, after an hour-long drive, pulling over onto some dry grass can start a fire from the heat under the car."

 

THINK ABOUT INSURANCE

WHILE a bushfire survival plan should be every resident's first priority in bushfire season, being prepared also means thinking about insurance.

A Get Ready Queensland spokesman urged residents to review their insurance policies to make sure they were covered, should the worst happen.

"Some people might have gotten a policy 20 years ago and not looked at it since," the spokesman said.

"It might leave you caught out if it turns out you aren't covered. Insurance companies don't make you upgrade each year so many people just roll over with their old policy."

 

WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN'T LIGHT

PROPERLY constructed gas barbecues in the open are OK. Have a fire extinguisher or bucket of water nearby.

Properly constructed pizza ovens are OK. Have a fire extinguisher or bucket of water nearby.

Chainsaws are OK, provided the chain is tight to minimise the chance of sparks

Welding and grinding are not OK in an open area where sparks can cause a fire. Welding and grinding on job sites clear of vegetation is OK. Have a fire extinguisher or buckets of water nearby.

Water pumps are OK, provided grass is cleared away. Even better if it is raised on a brick or cement platform. Have a fire extinguisher or bucket of water nearby.

Mowers and whipper-snippers are OK, provided necessary precautions are taken because rock strikes can spark and cause a fire.

Smokers used by beekeepers are OK because the flame is enclosed, however, the flame should be extinguished if you move between sites.

-Sourced from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services