Severe fire danger warning for Darling Downs regions

AUTHORITIES are warning of severe fire conditions across the Darling Downs, Granite Belt and Maranoa regions due to recent weather patterns.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecast the severe conditions for today and urged residents to take precautions and be mindful in the coming days.

"Ä hot and dry air mass will combine with fresh and gusty northwesterly winds ahead of a trough to produce severe fire dangers over the western parts of the Darling Downs and Granite Belt district and south-eastern parts of the Maranoa district," the BoM said.

Rural Fire Service Area Director Tim Chittenden said the region would move into bushfire season quickly.

"The area from Warwick south to Stanthorpe will have a higher bushfire risk this year as there's been a lot of frost and it's very dry at the moment," he said.

"We have already seen a few bushfires in the area as fuel loads are high."

Last year Toowoomba had increased bushfire activity with firefighters attending more than 80 fire incidents, compared to more than 60 the year before.

Dalby also experienced a higher rate of fires, with firefighters attending more than 60 incidents compared to about 50 in 2016. 

Mr Chittenden said it was a great time for landholders to prepare their property and reduce fuel loads as most of the region's vegetation had dried out.

"Too often we see landholders relying solely on firefighters to put in fire breaks and burn fuel loads on their own properties, without taking the steps to reduce fire risk themselves," he said.

"Regular burns are the most effective way to manage fuel loads, which includes dead leaves and bark build-up.

"If you own the fuel, you own the fire - if it's your land and your fuel, you hold the legal responsibility to manage the fuel and reduce fire risk on your land."

Residents can monitor the bushfire situation online at ruralfire.gov.au and bom.gov.au.

Call 000 in an emergency.


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