Primary producers and rural landholders are the target of firefighters’ calls for people to prepare their properties ahead of bushfire season.
Rural Fire Service (RFS) Acting Area Director Chris Spencer said parts of central-west Queensland faced the prospect of increased fire potential over the coming months.
“Some parts of this region have recorded decent rainfall for the first time in a long time,” Mr Spencer said.
“These areas have been in drought and now have pasture and vegetation where it has been sparse for a number of years.
“It is important people are aware this can create a higher risk of bushfires and that they act now to avoid being caught unprepared.”
Mr Spencer said landholders and primary producers with firefighting equipment should check it was in working order.
“Some firefighting units will not have been used for some time, so it is important to make sure everything is operational and ready to use,” he said.
“The last thing we want is a bushfire to break out and a property owner suffers hardship that could potentially have been avoided.”
Mr Spencer said another key strategy to reduce bushfire risk was to ensure fire breaks were established and maintained.
“We want people to think about protecting their assets, including farm infrastructure,” he said.
“Fire breaks are one of the best ways a landholder can protect their property.
“These breaks not only provide a crucial buffer between a bushfire and assets but also allow our crews to get in and around properties during emergencies.
“Locked gates are another obstacle our frontline crews face.
“We encourage property owners to think about the access firefighters need and ensure they can get in and out of paddocks and other fenced areas safely.”
Mr Spencer said residents in built-up areas should also take the message to prepare onboard.
“One of the keys to ensuring communities stay safe and resilient during bushfire season is for people to identify, understand and take ownership of the risks on their properties,” he said.
“Every household should ensure they have a current Bushfire Survival Plan and that everyone understands what to do in an emergency.
“We ask people to check their first aid kits are fully stocked, their gutters free of leaf litter, and lawns regularly maintained.”
For more bushfire safety information, visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/.