Fireys warn: Small sparks cause big blazes
WITH the South Burnett in the grip of bushfire season, firefighters are reminding residents that one spark from power tools or machinery could be enough to start a raging blaze.
Across the region, grassfires and bushfires have broken out almost daily over the past two weeks, including a fast-moving fire at Memerambi that started when dry grass under a four-wheeler caught alight.
Rural Fire Service area director Kaye Healing said current dry conditions meant even the smallest fire had the potential to spread quickly.
"Machinery such as tractors, slashers, welders and grinders can start grass fires, so anyone undertaking work around their property needs to do so with extreme caution,” Ms Healing said.
"Our crews have recently attended a number of fires that were accidentally started through activities such as welding and slashing.
"Current fire weather conditions are catching people by surprise, and they just aren't prepared for how quickly a fire can start and spread.”
Ms Healing said there were several precautions people should take when using power tools or machinery.
"If you must undertake these activities during dry conditions, you need to have appropriate resources to extinguish a fire if one starts,” she said.
"If possible, have someone other than the tool operator available to watch closely for ignitions.
"There is no room for complacency. One spark is all it takes to ignite a blaze that can destroy property, infrastructure and lives.”
Ms Healing urged the community to report fires immediately to Triple Zero (000).
"The sooner we can respond, the sooner we can have the fire under control,” she said.
"It's also vital people have a Bushfire Survival Plan, outlining what actions they will take to protect their family and property if a fire threatens.”
For more information, visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.