North Stradbroke Island residents have gathered at a community meeting in Dunwich this afternoon to find out the latest information about a fire burning in 18 Mile Swamp, near Blue Lake on the eastern side of the island.
More than 60 residents gathered to hear from representatives from Redland City Council, QFES, Qld Police, Traditional Owners, Qld Health and Energex.
Speakers reassured those present that all agencies were working collaboratively to control the fire and keep the community safety.
A total of 44 staff are on the island with the operation running around the clock under extremely difficult conditions.
The fire, which is in inaccessible swamp land, is expected to burn for some time.
A total of 820 hectares of land have been burnt and the fire has jumped Herring Canal. This is a priority area for firefighters, with crews located at each end of Herring Canal.
There are no immediate threats to townships but – as a precaution – Energex has brought two large and three smaller generators to North Stradbroke Island and a mobile telecommunications tower will arrive on the island tomorrow.
Water bombing and backburning are expected to continue for several days, especially with the anticipated increased temperature and winds across the weekend.
The current fire ban has been extended until 11.59pm tomorrow night (Saturday 1 December) for all of Redlands Coast, including North Stradbroke Island and the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.
To keep safe from smoky conditions during bushfires, Queensland Health recommended residents close their doors and windows and follow the tips and advice below.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams urged community members at the meeting to stay safe, stay informed, keep an eye on your neighbours and be aware of the fire ban across Redlands Coast.
Residents at the meeting thanks all involved in the fire response for their ongoing efforts and for keeping the community informed.
Keep safe in smoke:
- minimise your physical activity outdoors. People with pre-existing lung or heart conditions, in particular, should rest as much as possible and keep away from the smoke
- when indoors, keep the windows and doors closed. If you have an air conditioner, turn it on and switch it to ‘recycle or re-circulate’
- if your home gets too hot for comfort or is letting in a lot of smoky air, try to visit an air-conditioned community library or shopping centre (if it is safe to do so)
- when indoors, avoid other sources of air pollution including smoke from cigarettes and woodstoves
- if there is a break in smoky conditions, take the opportunity to ventilate your home to improve indoor air quality
- anyone with a lung or heart condition should keep at least seven days worth of medication on hand. Those with asthma should follow their personal asthma treatment plan
- anyone experiencing breathing problems or chest should seek medical advice immediately
- individuals who are particularly sensitive to smoky conditions should consider temporarily moving away from the smoke-affected area and staying with a friend or relative.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
- Listen to your local radio station or visit the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website for regular updates.
- If you have a bushfire survival plan, refer to it now and be ready to follow it.
- If you do not have a bushfire survival plan, or if your plan is to leave, identify where you will go if the situation changes.
- Close windows and doors to minimise smoke exposure.
- If you suffer from a respiratory condition, keep your medication close by.
- Drive with caution in low visibility conditions.
- Contact your neighbours to see if they need help preparing for the bushfire.
- Consider finding your essential items (e.g., identification documents, prescription medication, food and water, and protective clothing such as a long-sleeved cotton shirt and trousers, and boots) in case you need to leave.
- Consider what you will do to protect your pets and livestock.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Advise family and friends of your intended actions if the situation changes.
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 ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map
STAY UP-TO-DATE ON REDLANDS COAST:
- The new Redlands Coast emergency website: disaster.redland.qld.gov.au (also accessible via Council’s website www.redland.qld.gov.au)
- Council’s social media and website
- Local radio 612ABC and Bay FM 100.3