Region chokes on smoke

IT STANK, you couldn't put the washing out and it spoilt an otherwise lovely sunrise - smoke haze was choking Gladstone yesterday.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Gladstone station officer Simon Pearson said the smoke came from a

controlled burn at Yarwun and a grassfire at Monto Road, south-east of Calliope.

He said the smoke had hung around due to the change in weather over the last few days, but should clear as the breeze picked up.

Bureau of Meteorology Brisbane forecaster Tony Auden said a dry wind change at the start of the weekend had increased the risk of fire.

A temperature inversion kept the smoke closer to the ground and prevented it from rising into the atmosphere.

He added this week should see a return to moisture and possible showers, which would reduce fire hazards and clear the air.

Meanwhile Queensland has adopted a new national Fire Danger Rating Index, which includes two new levels of severe and catastrophic.

The new index is used as a trigger for the level of advice and messaging to the community when a bushfire starts.

There are three types of alert messages - advice, watch and act and emergency warnings.

Advice messages keep people informed and up-to-date with developments on a fire.

Watch and act messages advise people to take action to prepare and protect themselves.

Emergency warnings, accompanied by a siren, advise people to take action immediately, as they could be affected by the fire.

Protect

  • Avoid physical activity outdoors
  • Close windows and doors when inside
  • If very close to the smoke, wear safety goggles and cover your mouth with a smoke mask or non-synthetic damp cloth

Safety

  • Drink lots of water
  • Move car/s to a safe location
  • Block downpipes and fill gutters with water if possible
  • Turn on sprinkler in garden for 30 minutes before bushfire arrives