Managing fire is vital for protecting our homes and maintaining environmental habitats. Queensland's bushfire season traditionally runs from August to December each year, so it is important to be prepared. Find out how you can prepare your family, pets and property ahead of the bushfire season.
Prepare your property
Residents are encouraged to prepare their own properties ahead of the bushfire season, especially if their property backs onto or is near a bushland area.
The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises properties that are well prepared are far more likely to survive a bushfire. To protect your property against bushfires you should:
- check to see if the vegetation on your property is protected under the Natural Assets Local Law 2003 (NALL) by phoning Council on 07 3403 8888
- clear space around buildings
- clear and remove undergrowth near buildings
- fill in any gaps around windows, door frames and eaves
- protect larger under deck areas with non-flammable screens
- rake up bark, leaves and twigs
- make sure your property has clear access for fire trucks.
Neighbourhood Safer Places
A Neighbourhood Safer Place (NSP) is a local open space or building where people may gather, as a last resort, to seek shelter from a bushfire.
When a bushfire threatens, whether your decision is to leave early or stay and defend your property, you should use an NSP only in the event that your Bushfire Survival Plan fails.
Use of an NSP may be your contingency plan when:
- your Bushfire Survival Plan has failed
- your plan was to stay but the extent of the fire means that your home cannot withstand the impact of the fire and therefore your home is not a safe place to shelter
- the fire has escalated to an ‘extreme’ or ‘catastrophic’ level and voluntary evacuation is your safest option.
The main purpose of an NSP is to provide some level of protection to human life from the effects of a bushfire. Your NSP will not guarantee safety in all circumstances. The following limitations of an NSP need to be considered if you plan to use one as a last resort:
- firefighters may not be present, in the event that they will be fighting the main fire front elsewhere
- NSPs do not cater for animals or pets
- NSPs do not provide meals or amenities
- NSPs may not provide shelter from the elements, particularly flying embers.
For more information visit the Rural Fire Service Queensland website.
What Council is doing
Council carries out the following activities to manage bushfire:
- bushfire management planning
- constructing and maintaining firebreaks and management access tracks
- conduct regular planned burns on Council land to reduce wildfire risk and maintain the health of bushland. Council aims to reduce the amount of fire fuel such as dead wood, by 75% over the 60 to 80% of the land being burned
- bushfire monitoring
- community engagement
- working with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.
Protect yourself from smoke
Smoke inhalation can cause irritation to the eyes and respiratory system, and can potentially cause people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart and lung disorders to experience a worsening of symptoms. Find out how you can protect yourself against smoke inhalation.
Find out more
If you suspect a bushfire, first check whether the fire is part of Council's planned burns program. For more information, phone Council on 07 3403 8888.