Regional manager of rural operations Peter Hollier.
Regional manager of rural operations Peter Hollier.

Land owners warned after spate of illegal fires

A SPIKE in unauthorised property fires on the Sunshine Coast and in Wide Bay Burnett has prompted a warning to residents to be aware of their responsibilities before lighting a fire.

North Coast Rural Fire Service regional manager Peter Hollier said firefighters had attended a number of incidents recently due to unpermitted burns taking place.

A Permit to Light Fire must be secured before conducting a burn, and Mr Hollier said it was important landholders familiarised themselves with the process.

"In the past week, firefighters have been called out to incidents on properties where people did not obtain permission before lighting a fire or failed to follow the conditions of their permit,” Mr Hollier said.

"It is important residents take action to remove fire hazards on their land but they need to make sure they do so correctly.

"That means obtaining a permit from their local fire warden for fires bigger than two metres in any direction and abiding by permit conditions, which include restrictions on when a fire can be lit.”

Mr Hollier said landholders also needed to notify their neighbours and their fire warden before lighting a fire.

"Keeping the RFS and your neighbours informed not only reduces the likelihood of unnecessary calls to emergency services but it is an essential permit condition,” he said.

"Permit conditions are there to make sure fires are lit and managed as safely as possible and there are tough financial penalties in place for failing to follow them.”

Mr Hollier said those wishing to obtain a permit to burn can use the Fire Warden Finder tool on the RFS website or contact their area office to locate their local fire warden.

Details are available at ruralfire.qld.gov.au