In the wake of the devastating bushfires that gripped Australia, Brisbane City Council is not wasting any time safeguarding our city from for the next bushfire season, conducting its first planned hazard-reduction burn ahead of schedule.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the scale and devastation of the December and January bushfires across Australia left the country in shock and that Council was continuing to prioritise bushfire preparedness and minimise fire risks throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“As the coronavirus pandemic grips the world, we must not forget the devastation of the summer bushfire season and Council is putting an intense focus on observing weather conditions to ensure planned burns can go ahead to mitigate bushfire risks,” Cr Schrinner said.
“While the bushfires were not on our doorstep, the risk was still incredibly high around Brisbane and we are already underway with the first planned burn of the season across 2.74 hectares in Drewvale in Brisbane’s south.
“We manage more than 10,000 hectares of natural area and we cannot just burn whenever we want. The weather conditions, including moisture, wind speed and humidity, have to be absolutely right and that’s why our team of Council fire management experts determine when the conditions are best to conduct a burn.
“Weather conditions over March and into April are drier and stable and have now created good planned burning conditions. Today we are conducting the first of 35 planned burns across this season, covering an area of 834 hectares that will reduce the amount of fire fuel such as leaves and twigs by 75 per cent.
“This amount of burns is higher than previous years because of good weather conditions and is part of our $2.7 million Fire Preparedness program.
“We always remain on the front foot if a bushfire does develop, with more than 100 fire-trained staff experienced in bushland management, prescribed burning techniques and wildfire suppression as well as 25 vehicles that can respond at a moment’s notice.”
Cr Schrinner said this year, Council sought advice from Queensland’s Chief Health Officer regarding its planned burning program, and any potential health impacts which may be caused during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are following advice from the state’s Chief Health Officer, who has advised we may proceed with planned burns in order to reduce the risk to lives and property due to bushfire,” he said.
Cr Schrinner said residents living in at-risk areas need to do their part in planning for the bushfire season.
“Planned burns don’t provide 100 per cent protection from fire risk, so we urge residents who live next to bushland or in rural areas to have a bushfire survival plan and practice it with their family,” he said.
“People should prepare their properties by tidying the yard, clearing gutters and overhanging branches and raking up twigs and dried leaves from their property and readying their emergency kits.”
Council’s planned hazard reduction burns are likely to continue over the coming months until September and Council will advise the community of each planned burn ahead of time via a Community Service Announcement.
For more information about fire preparedness, visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au