The fire season in Queensland is here.
Persisting dry conditions and a lower probability of rainfall over the next three months increases the risk of bush fires.
If you are travelling during the school holidays:
• Find out what bushfire safety plans are in place in the area where you are camping, caravanning or renting accommodation.
• Check forecast weather conditions.
• Check Fire Danger Ratings for your route and your destination via your ABC Local Radio station, on Twitter and Facebook, or checking with the local fire agency.
• Know alternative routes to leave your destination.
• Plan activities carefully on hot, dry and windy days. Contact the visitor information centres for safe tourist activities and locations.
• Pack your own emergency survival kit and have it accessible at all times.
• Tell someone where you are going and when.
• Check for fire restrictions and Total Fire Bans
Emergency vehicles: Motorists responsibility
Police, fire and ambulance vehicles are emergency vehicles. If an emergency vehicle is coming towards you and is sounding an alarm or showing flashing red or blue lights, you must move out its path as soon as you can do so safely.
• Slow down;
• Move left to give the vehicle a clear run down the middle of the road. If you can’t move left safely, stay where you are and let the emergency vehicle overtake you;
• Not move your vehicle suddenly; and
• Not drive into the path of the emergency vehicle.
The law allows you to drive onto the wrong side of the road or drive through a red traffic light to get out of the way of an emergency vehicle if it is safe to do so.
Spring Clean: How to keep your home safe
A well prepared home can be easier for you or firefighters to defend. Here’s what to do:
• Clear leaves, twigs, bark and other debris from the roof and gutters.
• Purchase and test the effectiveness of gutter plugs.
• Enclose open areas under decks and floors.
• Install fine steel wire mesh screens on all windows, doors, vents and weep holes.
• Point LPG cylinder relief valves away from the house.
• Conduct maintenance checks on pumps, generators and water systems.
• Seal all gaps in external roof and wall cladding.
• Safehome is free and only available to Queensland residents. Consider booking your free safehome visit, which is an initiative of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services designed to assist all householders with fire and general safety in the home. Once the hazards are identified you can then take steps to eliminate them. Firefighters will visit you upon request at a time convenient to you.
• It is mutually beneficial over the months of August to October to prepare for the wet season, with cyclone clean-up and important property maintenance available on the Queensland website.
Ensuring Access for Emergency Vehicles
• Display a prominent house or lot number, in case it is required in an emergency.
• Ensure there is adequate access to your property for fire trucks – 4 metres wide by 4 metres high, with a turn-around area.
• Reduce vegetation loads along the access path.
• Mow your grass regularly.
• Safely remove excess ground fuels and combustible material (long dry grass, dead leaves and branches).
• Trim low-lying branches two metres from the ground surrounding your home
Permit Holders: Obligations and Responsibilities
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has produced a brochure which is designed to provide awareness of the obligations and responsibilities associated with the use of a QFES Permit to Light Fire (permit).
• Must have the permit in their possession before lighting the fire;
• Must comply with all conditions on the permit;
• Cannot alter anything on a permit without the consent of the Fire Warden; and
Can only cease patrolling when the burnt area is cool, with no remaining heat source