The only criterion for joining the Smokespotter group is to live, work or regularly travel in locations with a good view of a significant part of the Helidon Hills.
The Smokespotters use a compass to record the bearing of smoke sighted from their location and then relay this information to one of the Coordinators.
There are three voluntary Smokespotter Coordinators. Their role is to receive initial reports of smoke sightings and then to contact other Smokespotters who might have a view of the smoke from an angle which will allow accurate triangulation of the location of the fire. Once the Coordinators believe that they have a reasonably accurate location for the fire they pass this information on to FireComm (the team which takes the 000 fire calls) and to the relevant Rural Fire Brigade if there is any chance of the location being difficult to find, and to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service if the fire is in or near the Lockyer National Park
Through their efforts the Smokespotters assist the Rural Fire Service and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to make the quickest possible response to fires in the Helidon Hills. With this assistance they can reduce the time and resources devoted to locating fires, and prevent the development of wildfires that put lives, property and biodiversity at risk.
Rapid location of fires means that firefighters face lower risks because fires are smaller when they arrive, and in addition they need to spend less time getting the fire under control.
The work of the Coordinators in fixing the location of smoke sightings is greatly reduced if the holders of Permits to Burn in the Helidon Hills advise them by phone when they are about to light up. If they are aware of a permitted burn being lit they will advise the Smokespotters via this web site and email, so that they do not unnecessarily make reports of smoke in your area.
when it comes to bushfires, we are all neighbours