SOUTH-east Queensland residents have been put on notice following a spate of property burns conducted without permits as Beaudesert firefighters responded to reports of a fire in Cryna just after 10am today.
Beaudesert Fire Station captain Andy Rose said the reports of a possible car fire turned out to be resident burning a pile of rubbish on his property.
"'The gentleman had all the safety equipment and hoses on hand, so he had done the right thing there," he said. "But what he didn't have was a fire permit."
Mr Rose said the fire crew spending time at the property to ensure safety was the best case scenario in situations where fires are started without a permit.
"On a day of bad fire weather it could have got away and impacted neighbouring properties, farmers could have lost grazing land," he said.
"Any time we get called to a job that turns out to be an unpermitted backyard fires, that is using resources that may be needed elsewhere.
"The permit system helps us keep track of controlled fires and getting a permit is a matter of filling out a form, either in paper format or online."
Mr Rose said it was best to plan ahead and obtain a fire permit at least a week before the burn.
"We also advise people to notify their neighbours at least 72 hours prior to the burn as a matter of courtesy," he said.
"If you have a fire permit and the fire escapes, providing you have complied with the permit conditions, you will be covered but if you don't have a permit you could be held responsible for damage to neighbours property and the cost of fire resources," he said.
Rural Fire Service regional manager Alan Gillespie said people who lit fires without a permit were putting their lives and the lives of others at serious risk.
"The Permit to Light Fire system is there to ensure fires are lit and managed safely," Mr Gillespie said.
"We understand that some residents don't understand the requirements, but those who do are unnecessarily tying up valuable resources that could be used to respond to legitimate incidents.
"It's incomprehensible that some residents are willing to bypass a permit system designed to keep themselves and others safe from bushfire threat.
"We are anticipating another long and potentially dangerous bushfire season and prime bushfire conditions are already starting to take hold in parts of south-east Queensland.
"Under these conditions, it only takes one unauthorised burn to get out of hand to threaten lives and properties."
Mr Gillespie said residents who didn't apply for a permit were flouting the Permit to Light Fire system.
"There were incidents in June and now it's flowing over into July - it's not good enough," he said.
"It's occurring from Beenleigh down to Mudgeeraba and across to Grantham. It's not prevalent to one area."
"Residents caught conducting unauthorised burns on their properties could face hefty fines or even imprisonment."
He said residents and landholders must contact their local fire warden to obtain a free permit if they wanted to conduct a burn larger than two metres in any direction."
A permit will detail when a burn can take place to ensure it is conducted under the right conditions," he said.
"It's imperative permit holders notify their neighbours and the first officer of their local RFS brigade before lighting a fire.
"Landholders can use the Fire Warden Finder tool on the RFS website or contact their area office to locate their local fire warden and obtain a permit."