Extra firefighters on standby in the south-east as dry and windy conditions develop

ALL Scenic Rim and Logan city fire permits have been cancelled this weekend as dangerously dry conditions start to bite.

FIRE WARNING: Rural Fire Service regional manager Alan Gillespie has warned residents to be on the lookout for fire this morning.

FIRE WARNING: Rural Fire Service regional manager Alan Gillespie has warned residents to be on the lookout for fire this morning.

Extra firefighters will be on standby across south-east Queensland as the region braces for dry and windy conditions which would rapidly spread any fires, particularly on Sunday.

The Weather Bureau expects south-west winds to 40km/hr in some parts of the south-east, easing at night.

Fire permits have been cancelled in the Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Logan City, Gold Coast and Somerset local government areas as of midnight tonight until further notice.

Rural Fire Service regional manager Alan Gillespie said the combination of prolonged dry conditions and high fuel loads meant the region was at risk of a long and busy bushfire season.

“It’s tinder dry out there and we need the public to be vigilant, ready to act and monitor the situation,” Mr Gillespie said.

“This weekend is just an example of the conditions we can regularly expect to see in coming months, particularly in western areas such as the Ipswich, Somerset, Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley regions.

“We have more fuel on the ground than we’ve seen in a long time and soil moisture is extremely low with no immediate rain forecast.

“We are talking about conditions very different to what we would normally experience at this time of year – conditions we haven’t seen for some time and conditions conducive to the rapid spread of fire.

“There is absolutely no room for complacency. Our crews are ready to respond but we need the community to play its part, take extra precautions and remain on alert.”

“Landholders need to be thinking of other methods of mitigation to protect their property as now is not the time to be conducting hazard reduction burns,” he said.

Mr Gillespie urged residents to finalise bushfire survival plans, including contingencies for pets and livestock should fire threaten their area.

“It’s easy to carry small animals but people need to consider their plans for larger animals or livestock,” he said.

“Prepare what you will do well in advance. Moving horses, cattle or other large animals at the last minute during a stressful situation could lead to tragedy.”

Mr Gillespie urged people to report any sign of fire to triple zero immediately.

“No matter how small, please report it so we can get on top of it as quickly as possible to protect life and property.”

The fire danger rating set to climb to very high on Sunday.

For more information or to find your local fire warden, visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au