The Rural Fire Service said it is disappointed that people are ignoring road closures to put firefighters at risk as heavy winds are bring down a large amount of trees on properties and roads.
The Rural Fire Service said it is disappointed that people are ignoring road closures to put firefighters at risk as heavy winds are bring down a large amount of trees on properties and roads.

Fury as people put lives at risk in fire zones

AFTER battling massive flames and working hard to save life and property on several firegrounds affected by strong winds on Monday, firefighters are furious that many residents are choosing to risk their lives and those of first responders.

On Tuesday morning the Rural Fire Service said they were disappointed to hear multiple reports of residents choosing to ignore road closed signs.

People have also been reported driving around firetrucks and not heeding firefighter advice regarding issues such as falling trees and smoky conditions making such action unsafe.

An RFS spokeswoman said such behaviour endangers not just individuals but also firefighters, many of whom have been battling blazes for months.

"Falling timber is real hazard at the moment," she said.

"Those strong winds on Monday have brought down a hell of a lot of trees, firefighters closed roads in the hot sports, but we are hearing that residents are driving around road blocks and firefighting vehicles.

"We don't want to inconvenience anyone, but if we close a road, we close it for their own safety, it's obvious that people are stressed and not thinking clearly."

The spokeswoman said that disobeying road closure signs can put people and the lives of those they are travelling with in genuine danger.

"Some areas are really smoky with low visibility where you can hardly see ahead of you," she said.

"Currently firefighters are undertaking mopping-up and blacking-out which is dirty, can be dangerous but is essential as all the hard work can become undone with one ember or burning tree, it's not glamorous.".

Meanwhile, firefighters continue to backburn and manage containment lines in the Myall Creek Rd Fire and Ashby area which had burned over 114,000ha.

"They were challenged by Monday's strong winds and their work will continue today," the spokeswoman said.

"At Mt Nardi (6500ha) on Monday there were some flare-ups on the Nimbin side in that heavily timbered steep terrain, so crews will continue monitoring the situation."

The RFS is continuing to work closely with their Queensland counterparts on the Border Trail Woondebong Fire (25,312ha), particularly north of Umungar.


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