Central Highlands Regional Council is planning a controlled hazard reduction burn of land at Nogoa River on Saturday 18 July, weather permitting.
The burn is planned for land along the western side of the Nogoa River, below Codenwarra Road.
Council’s Coordinator Disaster Management and Community Resilience Glenn Bell said the burn is being conducted as part of the annual Operation Cool Burn program and will be supported by local rural fire units and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES).
‘The purpose of this burn is to create a fire break along the Nogoa River to protect residents from uncontrolled fire,’ he said.
‘This area has been determined as high risk by council and QFES for this summer season.
‘We ask residents in the adjoining areas to take all necessary precautions to protect themselves and their properties from the possibility of smoke and ash, as there may be a large amount present during the burn-off.’
Mr Bell said smoke may affect the Capricorn Highway.
‘This will be closely monitored with members of the State Emergency Service on standby to provide traffic management should this occur. We will be making all attempts to keep this to a minimum, but it will be governed by the weather on the day.’
Mr Bell said below average rainfall and prolonged high temperatures could mean the region is in for another challenging bushfire season.
‘Now is the time to prepare as much as we can,’ he said.
‘Council has developed a bushfire plan in consultation with QFES and other local stakeholders, identifying high-risk localities, high-risk hotspots and mitigation actions.
‘These actions include hazard reduction burns to reduce fuel loads, improvement of strategic fire breaks by landholders and targeted community education.
‘But everyone has a part to play.’
Mr Bell said there are simple steps people can take to ensure they are bushfire ready.
- Clear leaves, twigs, bark and other debris from the roof and gutters.
- Purchase and test the effectiveness of gutter plugs.
- Enclose open areas under decks and floors.
- Install fine steel wire mesh screens on all windows, doors, vents and weep holes.
- Point LPG cylinder relief valves away from the house.
- Conduct maintenance checks on pumps, generators and water systems.
- Seal all gaps in external roof and wall cladding.
- Display a prominent house or lot number, in case it is required in an emergency.
- Ensure there is adequate access to your property for fire trucks – 4 metres wide by 4 metres high, with a turn-around area.
- Reduce vegetation loads along the access path.
- Mow your grass regularly.
- Remove excess ground fuels and combustible material (long dry grass, dead leaves and branches).
- Trim low-lying branches two metres from the ground surrounding your home.
Mr Bell said every household should also have a bushfire survival plan prepared and keep it in a safe place, ready for use at short notice.
For tips and resources on how to create a plan and ensure your property is prepared for bushfire season, visit the Queensland Government Rural Fire Service site.
For further information on the planned Nogoa hazard reduction burn or other upcoming hazard reduction burns in the Central Highlands region visit council’s website or call Mr Bell during working hours on 1300 242 686.