Residents warned about smoke with burn planned

RESIDENTS in the Mount Morgan area will notice a large amount of smoke this weekend as firefighters work to reduce bushfire risks ahead of the fire season.

Depending on conditions, it is expected about 100 hectares of vegetation will be burnt in a large scale hazard reduction exercise involving the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and the Rockhampton Regional Council.

Rural Fire Service Queensland acting central region manager Lawrence Laing said the burn would begin at 10am on Saturday.

"We have dedicated more than 20 firefighting appliances to this burn, including an aircraft to observe and support fire ground operations," Mr Laing said.

"Firefighters are expected to reduce vegetation around areas on the eastern side of town from Williams St through to the cemetery and the western side of town from Meinberg Gully to Showgrounds Rd."

Mr Laing said hazard reduction burns were a vital tool to reduce bushfire risk, and the fire service was well equipped to ensure conditions were suitable and adequate resources were assigned.

"Last year, the Mount Morgan community was faced with the danger of a number of bushfires, which were deliberately lit," he said.

"This caused a potential threat to life and property and reconfirms the need to ensure there is as little excess vegetation as possible in the area.

"It is possible the wind conditions this weekend may result in smoke impacting residents in the area, and therefore it is vital they keep their doors and windows shut and medication close by if they suffer from a respiratory illness.

"Motorists should also take care when travelling through the area."

Volunteer community educators will be available at the Mount Morgan Fire Station from 9am to provide advice to residents if required.