High fire danger predicted as strong winds hit region

CENTRAL Queensland residents are reminded to be cautious and vigilant with heightened fire weather conditions for today and the weekend.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service central regional manager for rural operations Brian Smith said a very high fire danger had been predicted for a large area of the region, predominantly in the channel country.

"Very strong winds up to 40km an hour are expected and these pose a real risk for fires getting out of control," Mr Smith said.

"While the QFRS is well prepared to fight potential fires, prevention is important.

"The combination of strong winds, high temperatures and low relative humidity will make it very difficult to contain vegetation fires, so we're asking residents to take extra care and be alert."

Mr Smith urged landholders to ensure they were prepared.

"Today's and weekend conditions will be very similar to yesterday, where firefighters responded to a number of fires in the region," he said.

"If they haven't done so already, I urge residents to finalise preparations on their property and visit the Rural Fire Service website to download a bushfire survival plan so that no one is caught off guard.

Download the bushfire survival plan here

"Landowners who have conducted hazard reduction burns recently are strongly encouraged to take immediate steps to ensure their fire has been properly extinguished, or to make sure the residual fire is contained so that it will not escape with the forecast winds.

"We are also asking people to ensure they are not throwing cigarette butts out of car windows and to be careful when operating machinery in grassed areas."

More information on how to prepare for bushfire season can be found at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.