Dumped rubbish poses hazard for firefighters
By YVONNE McLEAN
GOLD Coast councillor Sue Robbins has appealed to residents of the outer suburbs and rural areas to be on high alert for a coming bushfire season that could be one of the worst in years. "No residents of the suburbs that fringe the Gold Coast and its hinterland should imagine recent rain has dampened down the bushfire hazard fire authorities have been warning about for months," she said. "When the northerlies return the land will dry out like tinder ? and one of the real dangers for firefighters is accumulated rubbish dumped indiscriminately in the bush. This year an Ipswich fire officer received serious damage to his hearing when an inflated tyre hidden in vegetation exploded during a bushfire. "Dumped gas cylinders also present a threat to the volunteers," Cr Robbins said. "Inflated tyres are a constant problem for the rural brigades, and please, anyone who has dumped a tyre or dangerous materials in the bush, go out and remove them ? someone could be injured because of this kind of rubbish," she said. Cr Robbins has drawn everyone's attention to the big number of dead trees in bushland at roadsides. These trees are victims of drought and could be the spark to cause a damaging crown fire. She warns motoring smokers not to throw a match or cigarette butt from their vehicles. "The care every resident takes to clear rubbish from around their homes makes the job of protecting properties from bushfire that much easier for the colunteers," Cr Robbins said. Last week Cr Robbins was one of a selection panel in the appointment of a fire officer to manage protection for the vast area of bushland between the suburbs and rural Gold Coast. She said the coming fire season was being treated very seriously, as it was always, but perhaps more so because of present dangers.