Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart says the creation of several kilometres of additional fire trails and three extra cool fire burns across Noosa will help better protect the community ahead of the next bushfire season.
“With the devastating fires of last year still front of mind for our residents, I am pleased to confirm that we are adding to our existing network of fire access trails as part of this year’s Bushfire Readiness Program,” Cr Stewart said.
Council manages over 180 bushland reserves, which equates to about 3.5 per cent of Noosa’s land area and maintains about 62 kilometres of fire access trails.
The Local Disaster Management Group received a briefing from relevant agencies about the shire’s fire mitigation strategies at last week’s meeting.
Mayor Stewart said she was encouraged by the strong collaboration between Council, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service.
“I highlighted fire management and mitigation during the election campaign so it’s certainly pleasing to see that increased efforts and control measures are being put in place through this collaborative process,” she said.
Earlier this year, council completed new fire access trails at Edington Bushland Reserve, Cooroibah and Eenie Creek Bushland Reserve, plus a controlled burn at Cooloothin Creek Nature Refuge
Further controlled burns are earmarked for the Waste Transfer Station and Wooroi Creek, if weather conditions are favourable.
Environmental Services Manager Craig Doolan said a further three new fire access trails have been identified as high priorities, with this work to potentially take place in coming months.
This includes a 2.5 kilometre stretch at Heritage Park Bushland Reserve, a new 700 metre trail at Lake Doonella Bushland Reserve, a 500 metre trail at Weyba Bushland Reserve and further work at Peregian Beach Foreshore Reserve.
Mr Doolan said Council was guided by the advice from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Service.
“We have a coordinated approach which aims to reduce the risk of fire and ensure community safety,” he said.
“Our main priority is managing fire access trails,” Mr Doolan said.
“It’s important to be remember that hazard reduction burns may not prevent a bushfire, but are designed to reduce a bushfire’s severity and assist firefighters,” he said.
Cr Stewart said the community should be heartened by the increased control measures.
“The additional work that has been done certainly compliments what other agencies are doing as part of the annual QFES Operation Cool Burn, which occurs between April and August,” she said.
“The extra work should give residents an understanding that council is doing what it can in a collaborative way with QFES and other partner agencies, to reduce fuel loads.” Cr Stewart said.
Mr Doolan said council adopted a proactive and varied approach to maintenance to reduce the risk of fire and continually monitor bushland areas to ensure community safety.
Cr Stewart said it was equally important for residents to make their own preparations to be bushfire ready.
“We all have a responsibility to equip ourselves with the necessary tools such as an up-to-date Bushfire Survival Plan and clean up around the home,” she said.
“It’s vital for us all to have a renewed focus on bushfire preparedness, so we ask the community to do their bit by cleaning up around their properties,” she said.
To know more about what property owners should do, check out Council’s Disaster Dashboard on the Council website at noosa.qld.gov.au