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HEALTH WARNING | Thick Smoke Blanketing Region

Forest Fire Thick Smoke

UPDATE | With thick smoke blanketing the region on Monday, residents are being encouraged to adhere to emergency services advice and remain at their safe places to allow emergency services full access to areas of concern.

The Cobraball/Bungundarra/Maryvale/Lake Mary fire is still uncontained and burning on multiple fronts and residents are currently advised to prepare to leave.

The fire is currently impacting Mount Lizard, east of Evans Road, south of Mapes Road, south of Ingrey Road, east of Serpentine Road and north of Cobraball Road. The fire is expected to have a significant impact on the community.

About 40 fire crews spent the night conducting back-burning operations in an effort to contain the blaze.

As of late Sunday, approximately 11,000 hectares has been burnt and a number of structures have been lost or damaged. Three teams of specialists will be out this morning conducting drive-by assessments to determine locations that may be safe for people to return to, and they will be advised when a decision is made to allow residents to return to those areas.

More detailed Rapid Damage Assessments will continue on Monday where it is safe to do so.

There are currently about 400 homes without power and multiple additional Ergon Energy crews will be on the ground on Monday reconnecting customers and replacing burnt poles as quickly as possible.

Livingstone Disaster Management Group Chairman, Bill Ludwig, said Council will request funding support from both State and Federal governments.

“We will be pushing for every dollar made available to help rebuild our community affected by the fires,” Mayor Ludwig said.

“It is close to a miracle that nobody has lost their life in this unprecedented disaster.

“Council will be working closely with government agencies to ensure affected residents get the support they need quickly, in this difficult time.”

Another community meeting will be held this afternoon for people who have been evacuated or self-evacuated as well as interested members of the public, at 5.30pm at the Evacuation Centre at 37 Cordingley Street, Yeppoon for another update on affected areas.

Council is continuing to monitor the fire risk with all updates to the community provided through the online Disaster Dashboard (http://disaster.livingstone.qld.gov.au/) or through Council’s official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/livingstoneshirecouncil/).

EARLIER | Residents and motorists are being urged to take precautions due to thick smoke blanketing the region.

Livingstone Shire Council issued a statement saying, "Motorists travelling throughout the area are reminded to take the necessary precautions and drive to the conditions that have been created due to limited visibility from the thick smoke that is currently blanketing the area".  

"The community is advised to adhere to the emergency services and to avoid the current bush fire ravaged areas, as Police, SES and QFES remain at road closure sites.

"Residents are asked to remain at their safe places to allow emergency services full access to areas of concern.

"If you see smoke haze, check for fire warnings in your area and listen to your local radio station for updates.

"Anyone having trouble breathing or experiencing chest pain should seek urgent medical assistance by phoning 000.

Protecting your health:

  • Avoid physical activity outdoors (exercise allows more fine particles to be breathed deeper into the lungs). In particular, people with pre-existing lung or heart conditions in should rest as much as possible and keep away from the smoke.
  • Anyone with a heart or lung condition should follow the treatment plan advised by their doctor and keep at least five days supply of medication on hand.
  • People with asthma should follow their personal asthma plan.
  • When smoke is in the air, but a fire is not directly threatening you, stay indoors and close all windows and doors.
  • If you operate an air conditioner during smoky conditions, switch it to ‘recycle’ or ‘recirculate’ to reduce smoke coming inside your home.
  • If you do not have an air conditioner, take steps to reduce heat stress, especially for the very young, people who are unwell, or the elderly.
  • If your home gets too hot to be comfortable, or if it is letting in outside air, try to take an airconditioned break at a local community library or shopping centre.
  • If there is a break in smoky conditions, take the opportunity to air out your home to improve indoor air quality.
  • When indoors, minimise other sources of air pollution, such as cigarette smoke, burning candles, using un-flued gas appliances or woodstoves, or stirring up fine dust from sweeping or vacuuming.
  • During extended, very smoky conditions, sensitive individuals should consider temporarily staying with a friend or relative living outside the smoke-affected area. Outdoor sporting events may also be postponed by event organisers.

For more information, please visit https://www.qld.gov.au/health/staying-healthy/environmental/after-a-disaster/bushfires/bushfire-smoke-and-your-health

Council is continuing to monitor the fire risk with all updates to the community provided through the online Disaster Dashboard (http://disaster.livingstone.qld.gov.au/ ) or through Council’s official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/livingstoneshirecouncil/).