FEELING HOT: Fire Brigade Deputy Peter Curr at bushfire hot spot Horan's Gorge.
FEELING HOT: Fire Brigade Deputy Peter Curr at bushfire hot spot Horan's Gorge. Liana Walker

Tinderbox bushfire risk

DAMAGING storms across the Granite have turned parts of bushland into tinderbox, increasing the risk of fire.

Fallen trees and damaged bushland create an extra challenge for firefighters when they attend to fire emergencies.

The fire brigade advised residents if they have fallen trees or stacks of bushland on their properties it is best for them to contact council.

"Say 'please come out and have a look, if you can assist us that's great, if you can't then can I do it?'” Stanthorpe Combined Rural Fire group deputy Roni Bau said.

A Southern Downs Regional Council spokesperson said residents should take the debris to waste centres where safe to do so, or contact the council so officers could assess any risk and have debris removed as required on a case-by-case basis.

Mr Bau said fallen trees were one of the biggest problems when it came to attending spot fires.

He said the trees blocked entry points so they had to wait for the trees to burn out before they could move on.

Along with the storm damage, Mr Bau said lightning strikes had increased the risk of bushfires in the region.

He said the damage from lightning strikes was usually not evident until two or three days after they had hit the area.

He said if firefighters did not get to the scene of a lightning strike early enough after they hit, bushfires could occur.

He said despite the rains from the storms, country areas in Stanthorpe were particularly dry at the moment.

"Certain areas are not a problem, but certain areas are really dry.”

Mr Bau named areas including Glenlyon, Glen Aplin, Horan's Gorge and Happy Valley as at risk.

He urged people to avoid lighting any fires while the weather was so hot and windy.

"If you're going to light a fire to burn a heap of rubbish, burn it in the late afternoon so that the coolness of the night contains that fire,” he said.

Liana Walker

Stanthorpe Border Post

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