THIS year's fire season is shaping up to be a busy period for fire crews, who are working in overdrive to protect properties across the region.
Queensland Fire and Rescue acting rural operations area director Phil Williams said a drastic drop in humidity was the cause of the blankets of smoke that covered Bundaberg over the weekend.
"We did have some relights of old burns and some wildfire that ensued on Sunday," he said.
Mr Williams reminded residents that until January 1 next year, no fires could be lit without a relevant permit.
"We're unsure how the season is going to pan out - it's either going to be really wet or really dry," he said.
Bundaberg station officer Ross Findlay said the fire danger period was not to be taken lightly.
"It's dead-set serious time now," he said.
Mr Findlay said a couple of fires had been deliberately lit under the Tallon Bridge late last week, and school holidays often led to an increase in deliberate fires.
Local Disaster Management officer Mal Churchill said regular updates were being made on the upcoming fire season.
"It's fairly common knowledge (there will be) a high fire danger season and an earlier-than-normal storm season, with the projection of higher-than-average rainfall across the state," he said.
Mr Churchill stressed preparedness for fire or flood events was not designed to alarm residents.
"We've been through a fairly horrendous deal in the 2010/2011 season and nobody wants to see a repeat of that - let's just get better prepared," he said.
Do's and Don'ts
Avoid lighting a fire over the next six months. To apply for a permit, or to see if you qualify for a permit, speak with your local fire warden.
Be aware of children playing with matches.
Make sure property gutters are clean and there is no combustible material near the home.
If unsure whether a fire is deliberately lit or controlled, call your local fire station.
Don't burn without a permit. This applies to campers as well.
Don't burn if you don't have to. Take the rubbish to the dump if possible.
Don't accumulate rubbish and let it build up in the yard.
Don't flick cigarette butts out the window.
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