Firies frustrated as ban ignored in torrid conditions
AS FIREFIGHTERS battle against a "perfect storm" of warm weather and strong winds combined with desperately parched land, they have been left frustrated by people ignoring fire bans and putting lives and property at risk.
Firies were busy over the weekend, battling several blazes around the region.
Rural Fire Service West Moreton area director Paul Storrs said the dangerous conditions were predicted to persist until at least Wednesday, if not longer, and in response an extended fire ban had been put in place until next Sunday.
"We've had a number of people lighting bonfires and cooking fires and all of these other things," he said.
"Under a firer ban no fires in the open are legally allowed. We've had nearly a dozen call outs to jobs where people are using fire illegally.
"They can and will be fined for doing this."
He called on the community to be extra vigilant over the coming days and strictly adhere to the ban in place, with more information available on the Rural Fire Service website.
"The conditions for fire right now are at the worst we've seen for quite some time and (conditions like this are) not likely to be seen very often," he said.
"People need to be very concious of the fact of how easy fires will start.
"They need to be vigilant to not be doing things like dropping cigarettes out the window.
"They need to put off welding or slashing or grinding in the open air. These sorts of things are starting fires and these are the sorts of things that can put homes and lives at risk.
"When it comes to people living on the land and living in bushfire prone areas, they need to make sure their Bushfire Survival Plan is in place and they need to make sure they've reviewed it and they're ready to act on it if a bushfire occurs near them."
Of the 39 brigades across the West Moreton area, every single one had attended numerous fires over the week.
As many as 20 local crews at a time had provided support to battle the Canungra blaze.
"The volunteers are doing an awesome job but of course they're a little fatigued," Mr Storrs said.
"Any support and thanks that they can be given is well received. West Moreton hasn't even seen as many fires (as other areas).
"The majority of people are being very, very good about fire. They're calling Triple Zero as soon as they can and that's fantastic. I want to encourage our community to continue to do that and thank them for being so vigilant up to date."