Pauline Prince, Paul Storrs, and Donna Jackwitz at the QCWA Morning Tea.
Pauline Prince, Paul Storrs, and Donna Jackwitz at the QCWA Morning Tea.

Fire ban ‘not just about whether you want to have a BBQ’

A FOUR-DAY fire ban has not been extended in the Ipswich area, after wrapping up last night at 11.59pm.

West Moreton Chief Fire Warden and Area Director Paul Storrs said the period, during which open fires were prohibited and any permits were cancelled, had been breach-free.

“During this last weekend, from what I understand, we had no breaches, which is great,” Mr Storrs said.

“People are stepping up and understanding the need to manage fire – at the end of the day, it’s about everybody’s safety, not just about whether you want to have a barbecue or not.”

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It was a different story for the district’s last local ban, which was in place three weeks ago.

In late September, the Queensland Times reported a Somerset man allegedly contravened a ban, starting a small fire on his property during the height of the ban.

The fire grew out of control, jumping a creek and burning 10 hectares of farmland.

Mr Storrs said the 52-year-old Clarendon man was among three charged with breaching the particular ban.

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“I issued three infringement notices following that weekend across the Somerset, Lockyer, Ipswich area and I understand there were a couple of breaches in another district as well,” Mr Storrs said.

“Basically, one particular gentleman decided to light some sticks and leaves in the backyard, which started a small fire – it was stopped fairly quickly as the brigade were close by.

“Another person was camping and lit a fire and of course it scared a number of people in the camping area – thankfully the brigade was called quickly and the fire didn’t spread very far.”

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Mr Storrs said, across the three breaches, alleged offenders seemed to believe they were exempt from the rules.

“The fellow who lit the sticks in the backyard said he didn’t know and we asked him if he watched the news and he said he had,” he said.

“Well, (the fire ban) was on the news.”

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Mr Storrs said community needs were taken into account when fire bans were imposed.

“We balance the fire bans with the community’s needs,” he said.

“We only put them in place when the weather patterns show us the weather is pushing through at an area where normal fire management is going to be more difficult.

“Of course, over the weekend, we had those high winds and very low humidity – it adds up to fire danger.”

Read more news by Ebony Graveur.