Very high fire danger closes plantation forests in SE and central Queensland (UPDATE)
12 November 2019
Due to ongoing fires in our plantations and worsening conditions tomorrow, all HQPlantations pine plantations south of Mackay will remain closed for the rest of the week. The situation will be reassessed on Friday 15 November.
“The Forest Fire Behaviour and Weather Summary published by QFES has advised us of very high to extreme fire conditions where fires can develop quickly and will travel fast, with considerable incidence of spot fires occurring,” said HQPlantations Fire Protection Manager, Andrew Dunn.
“With these dry conditions and north westerly winds, the rate of fire spread is predicted to be up to 700 to 800 metres per hour with flames as high as 10m and spotting up to 1.2km”, he said.
For public safety, all plantations in south east and central Queensland have been closed including popular recreation destinations in the Glasshouse Mountains, Fraser Coast, Mary Valley and Byfield. Fire bans are also in place across the region.
Mr Dunn said the situation will be reassessed on Tuesday 12 November, at which time the plantations based on current weather forecasts are expected to be reopened.
“Public safety in the event of a fire is a priority, however public access can also bring a higher risk of fires starting due to hot exhausts in proximity with dry grass and unsafe behaviour like discarding cigarettes.”
Undertaking recreation in extreme temperatures can also increase the risk of heat stress or heat exhaustion resulting in serious illness or death.
HQPlantations is monitoring conditions from fire towers and cameras and has fire-fighting crew and equipment on standby, including a helicopter with a 3000L water tank.
Mr Dunn is appealing to the public to take this closure seriously to help ensure HQPlantations visitors, plantation neighbours, staff and contractors remain safe.
For further information contact:
Fire Protection Manager
Responsible recreation in Queensland’s plantation forests
14 February 2019
Plantation forests in Queensland managed by HQPlantations are becoming increasingly popular destinations for recreation. To ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time, visitors are reminded that in addition to being in a working forest, they are in a public place and must behave responsibly and obey the law, including the Forestry Act.
Here are a few of the rules you are required to comply with to enjoy Queensland’s plantation forests responsibly.
Road rules apply. By law, your vehicles must be fully registered and roadworthy, you must have a licence to drive or ride it and you must stay on formed roads, drive to the conditions and observe safety signage indicating work sites or road closures ahead. Because children don’t have licences, they cannot ride or drive in plantation forests.
Please don’t drive in mud. This damages our roads. Plantation roads are not government managed or funded roads. We will continue to be forced to close areas that become too badly damaged for us to access for fire protection or are too costly to maintain for forest operations, which disadvantages all recreation users.
Respect our neighbours. Please keep vehicle noise down near houses and be considerate about when you ride or drive, particularly very early in the morning or late at night. We are closing a small area south of the Glass House Woodford Road to try and reduce excessive noise in this rural residential valley. We would appreciate your compliance.
Please don’t litter! If you brought it in, please take it out and dispose of it responsibly. No one likes a tosser.
Groups require a permit. Five or more cars or motorbikes traveling together or 15 or more walkers, bike riders or horse riders require an organised event permit. If you don’t want to get a permit, which requires public liability insurance, travel in small groups of fewer than five vehicles (or 15 people). You’ll find more information at here
Check the plantation is open. Our plantations are often closed to the public before, during or after extreme weather events such as cyclones, strong winds, heavy rain or very high fire danger. It is your responsibility to check the plantation you plan to visit is open by going to our closures page.
For further information contact: