The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have declared a total fire ban for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI) and North Stradbroke Island (NSI) beginning from 12:01am on Friday 15 September through to midnight on Monday 2 October, 2017
A 24 hour fire ban has also been declared for the rest of the south-east.
Fires within a properly constructed barbeque are permitted provided they are not left unattended but otherwise all Permits to Light Fire previously issued in declared fire ban areas have been cancelled.
The extended island ban covers Moreton Island and the North Stradbroke, Russell, Macleay, Lamb, Karragarra, Peel and Coochiemudlo Islands in the Redlands.
Acting Mayor Redland City, Cr Wendy Boglary, said the State Disaster Control Centre has advised that yesterday’s vigorous surface trough that moved through the southeast Queensland coast will be followed by a very dry air mass and strong and gusty southeast to south-westerly winds to produce the Severe Fire Danger.
As Acting Chair of the local Disaster Management Group, Cr Wendy Boglary said total prohibition on the lighting and use of fires on the islands and mainland follows an assessment of weather conditions and elevated fire risk due to a low fuel moisture level and predicted dry windy conditions.
“I urge all residents to still enjoy the coming school holidays but to be especially alert to the increasing serious bushfire risk, not just on the islands, but across the City and South East Queensland,” she said.
“Careless or reckless behaviour with small fires left unattended or improperly extinguished, can lead to serious fires and there must be no open fires at all while a fire ban is in place. While the open fire ban on SMBI and Straddle reduces the opportunity for this to occur on our islands, we need the rest of the community to be just as aware and vigilant, fire ban or not,” Cr Boglary said.
Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said Council had undertaken a proactive approach to fire mitigation and property maintenance on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, with substantial work carried out since receiving the Review of Council’s Fire Management Plan.
“While this work and close collaboration with residents has been important to managing fire risk on our islands, there will always be risk and vulnerability.
“In dry windy conditions even the operation of machinery or power tools anywhere near dry grass and vegetation can lead to an ember or spark that can quickly spread.”
Councillor for North Stradbroke Island Peter Mitchell said fire preparation was a whole of community responsibility.
“Council and emergency services have strong plans in place to respond to any fire, but with help from the community, we want to avoid having to use them,” he said
“Residents should be prepared and aware of their local disaster management plans, accessible on Councils website, and have their own household emergency and evacuation plans in place.”