South west Queenslanders are being urged to educate themselves in bushfire mitigation activities to undertake on their properties ahead of bushfire season, which typically begins in August.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Acting Rural Fire Service (RFS) Regional Manager Tim Chittenden said now, more than ever, it was important for bushfire risk mitigation to be a community effort.
“It has been unseasonably dry across the region, particularly in the Warwick and Stanthorpe areas, which will unfortunately reduce the number of hazard reduction burns we will be able to undertake,” Mr Chittenden said.
“We need residents to understand their risk and to pitch in and do their bit to reduce bushfire risk on their properties.
“It’s simple: if you own the fuel, you own the fire.”
Mr Chittenden said fire activity had increased in the region in recent years, with about 530 bushfire incidents reported in the 2018-19 bushfire season compared to 498 in 2017-18, and 319 in 2016-17.
“Residents should be putting in fire breaks around their property,” Mr Chittenden said.
“Bushfire risk can also be reduced by clearing gutters, mowing lawns, trimming overhanging branches and moving flammable items away from their home such as boxes and woodpiles.
“If residents want to conduct a burn larger than two metres in any direction they must contact their local fire warden for a permit.”
Mr Chittenden said it was essential for residents to have a Bushfire Survival Plan (BSP).
“Your BSP should detail exactly how to prepare and what actions you will take if you are threatened by a bushfire,” he said.
“It’s important all members of the family know what to do when a bushfire approaches so make sure you practice your BSP with everyone in the household, including children and the elderly.
“As always if you have any questions, whether it’s how to start preparing your property or what more you can do, contact us. QFES is a knowledge hub.”
For more information on bushfire season preparation, local fire wardens or BSPs, visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.