Prolonged dry conditions contribute to an already active bushfire season and firefighters across the Central Highlands are on alert.
The Central Highlands Area Fire Management Group conducted a hazard reduction burn in Emerald last week.
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes said the burn was a timely and pro-active measure and people should now be aware of the risks and be prepared for bushfire season.
‘We thank those members of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), Rural Fire Service volunteers, SunWater and the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Rural Fire Service volunteers, council and everyone onsite for their efforts on Saturday,’ he said.
‘Conducting the hazard reduction burn will somewhat mitigate the risk in that particular area for bushfires, but it’s not an excuse to be complacent.’
Council’s Emergency Management Coordinator Glenn Bell said both rural and suburban residents could be impacted by bushfires.
‘Some actions you could take to reduce the risk include hazard reduction burns, mowing lawns regularly, trimming overhanging branches and removing flammable materials from properties,’ he said.
‘If a hazard reduction burn is required, residents are asked to obtain a Permit to Light Fire. Permits are free and can be obtained from the local fire brigade.
‘Let’s work together now and reduce the risk.’
QFES Assistant Commissioner Steve Barber said in a statement released by the Queensland Government this week that firefighters have ramped up efforts since Operation Cool Burn – the state’s main bushfire hazard reduction period – launched in April.
He said firefighters have been working with residents, farmers, business owners and landholders to minimise impacts of bushfires and that community education and traditional mitigation methods like hazard reduction burns and reinforcing fire breaks ensure preparedness for the bushfire season ahead.
Visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au for more information on bushfire safety and to complete your Bushfire Survival Plan.