Crews work to contain a Woodbury grass fire near Yeppoon discovered to be the result of someone burning off without a permit yesterday.
Crews work to contain a Woodbury grass fire near Yeppoon discovered to be the result of someone burning off without a permit yesterday. Sharyn O'Neill

Illegal acts anger firies

UP to 30% of fires Central Queensland firefighters are being called to are illegal burns, it was revealed yesterday.

In one of the latest cases yesterday authorities were called to a Woodbury property near Yeppoon where there were initial concerns that a house was under threat from a grassfire.

When crews arrived they found a person was burning off without a permit.

The regional manager of rural operations for the central region, Superintendent John Fisher said there had been a spike in the number of illegal permit burns.

Superintendent Fisher said those burning without a permit or not following the stringent permit laws would be prosecuted or heavily fined.

“We are actively prosecuting people who are doing the wrong thing. Part of the permit includes safe conduct like ensuring the fire is contained in the property burn area,” he said.

“It’s a disturbing trend and we won’t tolerate it.”

Crews were notified about the Woodbury fire about 10am yesterday.

The house was no longer under threat after rural crews completed a back burn to control the fire, but due to strong winds on the Capricorn Coast yesterday, crews remained on scene.

Late yesterday the fire was burning with containment lines.

They completed a back burn late yesterday.

In Queensland, by law you need a permit to burn an area larger than two square metres any time of the year.

“Fire crews are being taken out of action to battle illegal burns and we’re just lucky we haven’t lost homes or, god forbid, a life,” Superintendent Fisher said.

“We have enough trouble fighting fires that are accidently started let alone illegal permit burns. We don’t tolerate these attitudes especially during the bushfire season. ”

Mr Fisher said at the moment more permits were being obtained to minimise rubbish.

Other burns were being conducted to get rid of dry grass on properties to allow for fresh grazing grass.

“(A lot of) people are careless with fires and they think it’s acceptable to let the fire get out of control.”



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