North Queenslanders urged to ramp up preparations as bushfire season looms

With bushfire season just around the corner, firefighters are urging North Queensland residents to finalise their property preparations.

Bushfire season traditionally starts in August but Rural Fire Service (RFS) Regional Manager Tony Hazell warned North Queensland residents not to leave their preparations to the last minute.

“North Queensland regularly experiences fire activity earlier than southern parts of the state because we have warm, dry conditions before they do,” Mr Hazell said.

“A number of Rural Fire Brigades have reported that the grass and vegetation around the region is continuing to dry and is becoming increasingly capable of carrying a fire.

“Bushfire season is right on North Queensland’s doorstep and that means residents need to finalise their preparations now.”

Mr Hazell urged landholders to consider whether their property could benefit from fire mitigation activities.

“At this time of the year, landowners should ensure their Bushfire Management Plans are in place and that any firefighting equipment is in working condition,” he said.

“A good Bushfire Mitigation Plan identifies the location of any existing or proposed firebreaks, as well as any vegetation that should be cleared before the start of the season.

“Hazard reduction burns, mowing and slashing are all effective methods to clear fuel loads.”

Mr Hazell said landholders who wish to conduct a hazard reduction burn on their property should ensure they have the appropriate permit first.

“Residents who plan on lighting a fire greater than two metres in any direction must apply for a Permit to Light Fire with their Local Fire Warden” he said.

“Ultimately, landholders are responsible for managing the fire hazards on their own property, however local rural fire brigades can assist landholders to safely and effectively carry out hazard reduction burns.

“Bushfire prevention is a community effort – we all have a role to play in making sure Queenslanders stay safe this bushfire season.”

For more information about bushfire preparedness and to find your Local Fire Warden, visit ruralfire.qld.gov.au.

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