Fire crews are back in Burrum Heads to battle a blaze near the Burrum Coast National Park which first broke out on Saturday.
Fire crews are back in Burrum Heads to battle a blaze near the Burrum Coast National Park which first broke out on Saturday. Contributed

This could be one of our most at-risk winters for bushfires

THE fire season is meant to be slowing down, but it's continuing to fire up on the Fraser Coast as crews face one of the toughest years.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Service crews are still in operation mode as the traditional fire season stretches past its late January/early February finish.

Inspector Konrad Sawczynski is the area director of QFES for Maryborough.

Inspector Sawczynski said the extremely dry soil and lack of rain across the entire region, which also stretches south to the Sunshine Coast and as far north as Bundaberg, was a concern.

"This year the fuel is very excessive compared to past years and the lack of rain makes it one of the hardest years on the Fraser Coast," he said.

Fire crews prepare to enter Burrum Coast National Park to battle a blaze. The fire restarted that morning, and has burned for a total of three days.
Fire crews prepare to enter Burrum Coast National Park to battle a blaze. The fire restarted that morning, and has burned for a total of three days. Matthew McInerney

Usually by this stage of the year, crews are in training mode, but with fires continuing to burn across the region, firefighters are still in operation mode.

Inspector Sawczynski said the North Coast Region, which includes the Fraser Coast, was leading the way with the worst fire conditions across the country.

Crews had already responded to 250 calls since January.

Five fire crews are currently working along with national parks crews to strengthen containment lines at Burrum Heads as a fire continues to burn.

The fire in Burrum National Park has been burning for four days and crews are expected to continue to contain the blaze until later in the week.

On Monday alone in Maryborough there were five fires burning.

Inspector Sawczynski said while they could still manage with local crews, the long-term forecast with little rain was concerning.

He said while it was never too late for residents to clean up properties, with high to very high fire conditions being experienced across the region, extreme caution was vital.

"If you hit a rock with machinery it can spark a fire or if a faulty piece of machinery overheats it can start a fire," he said.

"It's about being sensible and ensuring you get information from the local fire warden and brigades."

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When it comes to permits, some fire wardens around the Maryborough region aren't issuing them due to the hot and dry conditions.

He said the extended dry season had minimised the window of opportunity for "operation cool burn" where hazard reduction takes place through controlled burns.


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