Planned burns

Planned burning on Brisbane City Council land is used to maintain the health of forests and lessen the impact of wild fires. 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. Some areas of the forest are left untouched, which can be used by wildlife as a refuge and help re-establish vegetation in the burnt sections.

Managing fire is vital for protecting our homes and maintaining environmental habitats. Queensland's bushfire season traditionally runs from August to October/November each year, so it is important to be prepared. Find out where Council is conducting planned burns and how you can prepare your property ahead of the bushfire season.

Council staff involved in fire management activities are trained in bushland management, planned burning techniques, wildfire suppression and take care to minimise the impact to local wildlife. 

How and why Council conducts planned burns video

You can also watch this video on Council's YouTube channel.

When burns will be held

Specific dates for burns can't be given, but neighbours adjoining the burn areas will be notified by letterbox drop. Notifications are posted on our Facebook and Twitter pages on the day of a burn.

Most planned burns in Brisbane take place between February and August. Council staff use weather and air-quality forecasts to determine the best day for each planned burn.

Burns postponed due to poor weather conditions will be rescheduled.

Using the planned burn area map

Select a shaded area to find the reserve name, location and information relating to the burn area that is planned to take place this year.

You can view the list of planned burns areas by using the toggle located at the top left-hand side of the map. 

View the planned burn locations in a larger map.

Preparing yourself for smoke during planned burns

The personal safety of Brisbane residents and visitors is our top priority. Smoke generated from hazard reduction burns from within and outside Brisbane may impact the health of residents. Residents with respiratory and other health conditions should make early arrangements to prepare for smoke. This may include:

  • stocking up on sufficient medication
  • arranging an emergency contact and a safe, alternate location to relocate from smoke.

Find out more about how to protect yourself from smoke.

Protecting wildlife

To protect wildlife during a planned burn, Council:

  • aims to carry out cooler, less intense and slower burns with lower flames
  • excludes sensitive wildlife habitat from planned burn areas
  • burns in a mosaic/patchy manner
  • inspects sites for wildlife and clears around hollow-bearing trees and important habitat features prior to burns
  • tries to ensure that wildlife has safe movement corridors if they need to move out of the area temporarily. 

Frequently asked questions

How does Council determine which areas to burn each year?

Council takes great care and effort in planning hazard reduction burns to ensure the safety of the community, property and the environment during the burn while maximising the conditions to achieve the fuel reduction goals.

Priority areas, vegetation types, time between fires, seasonal conditions causing growth, weather outlook across the season and what can be achieved are all factors that determine which areas are selected for planned burns.

Factors in planning burns include predicted fire behaviour, ignition patterns, resourcing requirements, expected duration and communications.

Weather conditions that guide a burn include temperature, wind direction and speed, relative humidity, dew point, continuous Haines Index, Drought Index and if rain is forecast.

Some of the considerations in preparing a site include the fire access tracks, the need for asset and tree habitat protection, exclusion areas, water points, fuel moisture and fuel load.

All planned burns require a Permit to Light Fire issued by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services before they can proceed.

Are Council officers experts in conducting planned burns?

Council can conduct planned burns under the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990.

Council has more than 100 highly trained staff that conduct planned burns. Council officers who plan and conduct planned burns are highly experienced or go through extensive training. Before staff join the team they must complete a theoretical component, demonstrate their competencies on the fireground and pass medical assessments.

The team is supported by a large fleet of fire trucks and mobile command vehicles.

Council consults extensively with other fire management agencies in preparing and conducting planned burns.

Council collaborates with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services to respond to wildfires on Council land.

I have health concerns. How can I receive notice of a planned burn?

If you can be affected by smoke then you can call Council on 07 3403 8888 to be notified when Council is conducting planned burns.

More information

For more information on planned burns across Brisbane, phone Council on 07 3403 8888 and ask to speak with the Regional Natural Environment Coordinator for your region.

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Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.