Residents in Maryborough are being asked to fire up the preparations for another busy bushfire season.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is urging locals to make bushfire planning a priority during what is shaping up as a warmer-than-average winter.
Rural Fire Service (RFS) Acting Maryborough Area Director Ross Stacey said one of the area’s top priorities would be reinforcing the need for correct compliance with fire permits.
“As with any fire permit, one of the biggest concerns ahead of bushfire season is making sure permit-holders follow the correct process,” Mr Stacey said.
“While QFES dictates that any fire over two metres in any direction requires a fire permit, local councils also have their own restrictions that landowners need to follow.
“”If a landowner is intending on burning off, they need to check the local laws with their council regarding what they are entitled to do.
“Some of those regulations might include alerting your neighbours to a burn-off or making sure you reduce unwanted risk or nuisance to other people.”
Mr Stacey said while it was important to take appropriate cautions while conducting hazard burns, residents should not be discouraged from doing so.
“Over the past five years, Maryborough has cemented itself as one of the top five spots for bushfire risk across Queensland,” he said.
“While last year we saw a fall in the number of bushfires across Maryborough, we still experienced a number of severe fires.
“What this means is locals need to reject complacency and stay on top of bushfire preparations while conditions are prime.
“That’s why QFES promotes Operation Cool Burn; a key period to focus on bushfire mitigation.”
QFES’ annual Operation Cool Burn occurs when the conditions are suitable for landowners and stakeholders to undertake hazard reduction burns ahead of bushfire season.
“Now that the wet weather has seemingly passed, this is the time to start preparing properties,” Mr Stacey said.
“If a family isn’t sure how to reduce fuel loads, they can contact the local fire warden or rural brigade.
“People can find the contact details by heading to the Queensland RFS website and searching their area.
“The website also has other great resources to help with preparing the home for the upcoming bushfire season.”
Mr Stacey said there were multiple ways people could start making their homes bushfire-safe.
“Even if a landowner doesn’t intend on burning off or putting in fire breaks, they can mitigate the risk of fire by clearing debris from roofs and gutters and removing combustible material from their land.
“It’s also important every property has clear access and exit points.
“This means four metres wide by four metres high, with a turn-around area to allow for firefighting vehicles.”