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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
    The Honourable Craig Crawford

    Fire and Emergency Services Minister praises massive firefighting effort

    Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
    The Honourable Craig Crawford

    Monday, August 13, 2018

    Fire and Emergency Services Minister praises massive firefighting effort

    Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford today (Monday) praised the efforts of hundreds of QFES staff and volunteers involved in the weekend fight against 230 vegetation fires.

    Speaking ahead of a visit tomorrow to Tamborine Mountain and Beaudesert, Mr Crawford said hard-working personnel from the state’s Rural Fire Brigades, Fire and Rescue Service, supported by SES volunteers, combined to battle the blazes.

    “It was a wonderful effort by everyone involved as there were 230 vegetation fires and exposures across the state on the weekend,” Mr Crawford said.

    “Apart from the tremendous work of all involved, the weekend was a clear sign the fire season is about four to six weeks ahead of schedule. We have more fuel on the ground than we’ve seen in a long time and soil moisture is extremely low with no immediate rain forecast.

    “We are talking about conditions very different to what we would normally experience at this time of year - conditions we haven’t seen for some time, and conditions conducive to the rapid spread of fire.”

    In the South Eastern Region alone, there were 67 vegetation fires and exposures over the weekend with a total of 14 in the South Western Region; 29 in the Northern Region; 25 in the Central Region, 39 in the North Coast Region, 34 in the Brisbane region and 22 in the Far North.

    “Of all the appliances and support vehicles activated throughout the state over the weekend, almost 60 were assigned to bushfires yesterday for the South Eastern Region,” Mr Crawford said.

    “One firefighter suffered from heat stress at Fernvale and one firefighter suffered minor burns at Linville.

    “Structural and vehicle losses included an old cottage, two sheds, five vehicles, a truck and a caravan.

    “Six WATCH and ACT messages were issued by QFES at Tallengala, Mutdapilly and Ballandean, and air support was utilised for observation, mapping and water bombing.”

    Mr Crawford said there were currently about 20 bushfire incidents across Queensland.

    “Extra firefighters remain on standby, and in south-east Queensland all permits to burn have been cancelled until midnight tonight.

    “Fire permits have been cancelled in the Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, Logan City, Gold Coast and Somerset Regional Council local government areas.”

    Mr Crawford said the combination of prolonged dry conditions and high fuel loads meant the state was at risk of a long, active bushfire season.

    “It’s very dry out there and we need the public to be vigilant, ready to act and monitor the situation,” Mr Crawford said.

    “The weekend was just an example of the conditions we can regularly expect to see in coming months, particularly in western areas such as the Ipswich, Somerset, Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley regions.

    “I’m asking residents to finalise their bushfire survival plans, including contingencies for pets and livestock should fire threaten their area.”

    Mr Crawford urged people to report any sign of fire to Triple Zero (000) immediately.

    KEEP UP TO DATE BY: •           Following QFES on Facebook (@QldFireandRescueService) and Twitter (@QldFES) •           Staying tuned to your local radio station. Find your local ABC radio station at https://radio.abc.net.au/help/offline and your local commercial radio station at http://www.commercialradio.com.au/find-a-station/queensland; •           Visiting the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map FURTHER INFORMATION: •           For bushfire preparation tips, visit the RFS website: www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/BushFire_Safety •           For information about road closures, call 13 19 40 or visit www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au

    ENDS

    MEDIA 0412 393 909