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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
    The Honourable Craig Crawford

    QFES personnel battle dangerous fires as Central Queensland towns evacuated

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
    The Honourable Craig Crawford

    Monday, November 26, 2018

    QFES personnel battle dangerous fires as Central Queensland towns evacuated

    Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford have urged residents in the Central Queensland towns of Deepwater and Baffle Creek to keep up to date with emergency warnings as a major fire continues to threaten their communities

    The Premier said that conditions were expected to worsen throughout the day as temperatures climbed and winds picked up.

    “Several hundred residents have already been evacuated in the Agnes Water region and it’s essential that they not return to their homes and properties until authorities say it’s OK to return,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    "We are seeing unprecidented weather conditions, with extremely dry conditions, low humidity and very high temperatures.

    “And I want to thank the firefighters and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services personnel who are on the front line across Queensland fighting fires and keeping Queenslanders safe.”

    Mr Crawford said that roads were open but only for people leaving the communities and so that Ergon Energy would be able to enter to assess the damage to power lines and supply.

    He said QFES firefighters been fighting major fires across the State throughout the weekend.

    “Dozens of fire crews have responded to about 240 fires during the weekend and extreme weather conditions mean QFES will be on high alert well into the week,” Mr Crawford said.

    “I can’t thank our QFES personnel enough for the work that they’re doing in extremely dangerous conditions.”

    Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the weather conditions made firefighting operations difficult and thanked firefighters for their hard work in extremely trying conditions.

    “Strong winds and dry conditions in Central Queensland, especially in Deepwater and Baffle Creek, have meant these fires have been moving quickly and crews are working extremely hard to get on top of things early,” Ms Carroll said.

    “There has already been significant fire activity across the state and conditions are slowly moving into central and northern Queensland today and tomorrow.

    “I want to thank our firefighters for their ongoing efforts as conditions continue to worsen throughout the state.”

    With heightened fire conditions moving into the northern half of the state, Ms Carroll urged residents to stay up-to-date with warnings and familiarise themselves with their bushfire survival plans in case they were needed.

    “It’s important for everyone to know their local area and stay abreast of fire activity and what the latest warning says,” she said.

    “Warnings are continually updated with the latest information and we need people to continue to listen out for them and follow the actions outlined within them.”

    “As the week progresses, I understand that the fire danger will increase across the State, and I can’t emphasise enough just how important it is for residents in exposed areas to stay informed and follow any instructions issued by emergency services, including to evacuate.”

    Mr Crawford said it was also important to note that the work residents in urban and semi-rural areas did was just as important as the efforts of major landholders and partner agencies in reducing bushfire threats.

    “Other measures include clearing leaves, twigs, bark and debris from roofs and gutters, and trimming low-lying branches around the home or yard,” he said.

    “All of these actions, no matter how small they may seem, can make a big difference in an emergency.”

    People are being urged to report fires to Triple Zero (000).

    To keep up to date, follow QFES on Facebook (@QldFireandRescueService) and Twitter (@QldFES), or visit the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map

    ENDS

    Media contact:

    Premier's office - Shane Doherty

    Minister's office - Bernadette Condren0417 296 116