Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has already scheduled more than 120 hazard reduction burns for the greater Brisbane area and is urging residents to join them by preparing their properties now.
Rural Fire Service (RFS) Brisbane Regional Manager Wayne Waltisbuhl said weather conditions were favorable to conduct hazard reduction burns as part of ‘Operation Cool Burn’, which is an annual initiative that runs in the lead-up to bushfire season.
“Getting the right conditions is so important – the right weather can be the most critical consideration,” Mr Waltisbuhl said.
“The topography, the amount of fuel and its moisture content are all taken into consideration, plus the wind direction and speed, rainfall in the area, and whether or not relative humidity is greater than 30 percent.
“It’s a real balancing act: it must be hot and dry to burn, but not too hot and dry that it is hard to control.”
The reminder to residents to prepare comes after the 2019 bushfire season where the greater Brisbane area was affected by more than 1,200 landscape fires.
Mr Waltisbuhl said the intense level of bushfire activity in 2018 and 2019 demonstrated why Brisbane residents in urban areas needed to be well-prepared.
“The bushland bordering suburban backyards is rapidly drying out, leaving them exposed to the risk of bushfire,” he said.
“It is not just the significant dry grass matter around the place that’s becoming very parched, but also the leaf drop – most of the roofs are covered.
“There is a greater chance of fires breaking out in these areas – that’s why we need people to take action now.
“It is the responsibility of every landholder to manage the bushfire risk on their property.”
Mr Waltisbuhl encouraged Brisbane residents to prepare their own property and said it was important to do so if they backed onto or were close to bushland.
“It is not difficult to reduce the risk of bushfires and there are easy actions residents can take right now to adequately prepare ahead of the bushfire season,” he said.
“Residents should clear excessive vegetation, create fire breaks, keep gutters clear and where appropriate, conduct permitted burns.
“In addition to these steps, residents should regularly mow grass, trim trees and remove flammable materials close to buildings.
“Residents in bushfire-prone areas should act now before bushfire season arrives.”
Landowners must obtain a permit if they’re planning on lighting fires on their property larger than two metres in any direction.
Visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au for more information about obtaining a free permit from your local fire warden.