Landowners in Bundaberg are being urged by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) to turn up the heat on preparations for the fast-approaching bushfire season.
Rural Fire Service (RFS) Bundaberg Area Director Bruce Thompson said obtaining and complying with a fire permit was among the top priorities for Bundaberg locals.
“We’re encouraging landowners to be bushfire savvy and get on the front foot when it comes to preparing hazardous properties,” Mr Thompson said.
“Obtaining a permit to light a fire is one way people can start making their properties bushfire-safe.
“However, once landowners have that permit, they need to ensure they follow its conditions – otherwise, they may be defeating the purpose of having a permit at all.”
Mr Thompson said permit compliance was a key issue that locals needed to be wary of ahead of bushfire season.
He said it was important that permit-holders talk with their local fire warden to make sure they come up with a plan that will work for them.
“When people apply for a permit, they need to ensure they are having discussions with their fire warden around its conditions.
“This is important for both the safety of the landowner as well as the community.”
Mr Thompson said unfavourable weather conditions continued to plague Bundaberg as the bushfire season edged closer.
“We’ve missed a lot of the wet weather the southern part of the region experienced, so the soil here is dry and lacks moisture,” he said.
“If residents are burning off, they need to account for this by having extra water and supplies on hand and putting proper precautions in place.
“We’re happy to see people taking responsibility for their land and conduct hazard mitigation burns but they must make sure they’re acting cautiously if they’re going to do it.
“People can talk to their local rural brigade or fire warden; they’re happy to share tips or lend a hand to ensure a burn happens smoothly.
Mr Thompson said landowners should also act proactively in making the local QFES Fire Communications Centre aware when they start their burns.
“If we know of a planned burn, a smoke alert can go out to notify the public and QFES can avoid sending unnecessary responses to fires.”
Mr Thompson said residents also need to ensure trucks can safely access properties in the case of an emergency.
“If a rural appliance needed to enter a property, people should ask themselves – could it leave safely?
“If the answer is no, then residents need to address this and make sure emergency services have appropriate access.”