Summer fire risk high for Lockyer Valley despite rain
THE fire threat will remain high throughout summer, authorities have warned, even though weekend rain may have eased the immediate fire risk.
Fires that circled the Lockyer Valley last week, covering the region in a blanket of smoke, could be just a taste of what is to come.
Queensland Fire and Rescue Gatton station officer Noel Einam said a long, hot summer was predicted.
The fire risk is likely to remain high right through to Christmas and beyond.
"The fuel load on the ground is very thick due to good rains over the past couple of seasons," Mr Einam said.
"Authorities are predicting strong winds over the next few months.
"Combine that with high, dry grass and you just need a spark to set things off.
"We have already seen plenty of fires and we are not even into the hot summer months yet."
Mr Einam urged people to prepare their properties.
"Think about that crucial decision - do I stay or go - do I stay with my home and defend it in case of a fire, or do I leave?" he said.
"Being prepared is the key to survival.
"People need to develop a plan. Have an exit strategy. Know how to drive away from your property if fire races down on you.
"People don't want to be driving into a fire. Know the best way out if you are going to get out.
"All the predictions say we are in for a dangerous summer," he said.
Mr Einam said if people came across a fire, they should ring 000.
"Don't assume other people have already done that," he said.
Advice in the event of a bushfire includes:put on protective clothing, drink lots of water, move vehicles to a safe location, close windows and doors, bring pets inside, provide water for them, wet down any flammable items close to buildings, store garden furniture, doormats and other items that can catch on fire, seal all gaps and fill containers with water.