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Safety warning as fire focus continues in Esk

FIRE safety and preparedness are the focus for Somerset Regional Council as the area enters another week of warm and unpredictable weather.

Published: 18th November 2019

FIRE safety and preparedness are the focus for Somerset Regional Council as the area enters another week of warm and unpredictable weather.

The north of the region received hail and heavy rain at the weekend, while a fire in Esk forced the evacuation of six residents and the closure of Esk-Hampton Road on Sunday.

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said Esk State School remained closed, with Esk Hospital reopening this morning.

“The school is closed today purely as a precautionary measure,” Cr Lehmann said.

“Hospital staff made the decision to evacuate on Sunday, and patients were relocated to Gatton for the night.

“Council has received reports of structures lost to the fire around the Redbank Creek area, and we are working to confirm these.

“We have established an Incident Management Team, which is monitoring the situation from Esk.”

Councillor Lehmann thanked the Somerset community for its calm and supportive response to the Esk fire, which came one week after forced evacuations in Jimna.

“It’s really pleasing to see everyone looking out for their neighbours, families, friends and even total strangers,” Cr Lehmann said.

“As the clean up continues it’s important that motorists take extra care when driving through burnt out areas.

“Trees and other debris can litter the roads, and with the ongoing drought there’s also the issue of roaming cattle and other livestock.

“For accurate and up to date information during emergency situations, I encourage everyone to visit newsroom.psba.qld.gov.au/ and sign up for Early Warning Network alerts at somerset.qld.gov.au/ewn.

“Regular updates are also posted on council’s Facebook page, which can be followed at facebook.com/SomersetRegionalCouncil/.”

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