GOLD COAST firefighters are predicting a dangerous bushfire season following an unusually warm, dry start to winter.
With bushfire season set to begin in August, Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) South Eastern Region Area Director Corey Bock said he was hoping it would get cold enough in late winter for frost to further reduce excess fuel loads.
“This winter we have had higher than average temperatures and around 300mm below average rainfall making conditions quite dry,” Mr Bock said.
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“The severity of bushfire season depends on the conditions throughout winter, so we’re hoping it gets cold enough for frost to kill off excess grasses and other types of fuel.
“Typically in a ten-year cycle, three years will be wetter with seven being drier and with the last few seasons being wet, we may be in for a particularly dry season with an El Nino predicted in August as well.
“If we get big westerly winds in August, it may give us a bit of trouble.”
Landholders across the south east are being encouraged to reduce the fire risk and ‘Get Ready’ before fire activity ramps up.
“We are expecting a busy season, so now is the prime time to get out there, take control of the situation, and reduce the risk of bushfire on your property before the grass completely dries out,” he said.
“Landholders are responsible for the fire risk on their properties and by reducing fuel loads in high risk areas now, the chance of losing property or even life during bushfire will decrease.
“Some areas are more at risk than others, but nobody can afford to be complacent about bushfire preparation.”
Landholders wanting to light a fire in the open should seek advice from their local Fire Warden. To locate your Fire Warden visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/fw_finder.asp