Last year’s catastrophic and unprecedented bushfire season has prompted Queensland fire crews to issue a timely reminder to residents about being prepared.
It comes as Queensland’s bushfire season officially begins today, with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford revealing they’re more equipped to tackle blazes ever.
“After last year’s season, QFES is equipped to deal with more major bushfires and our highly-skilled firefighters are ready to respond,” Minister Crawford said.
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“In the past financial year, we put 119 brand new rural fire trucks on Queensland’s roads and I can’t urge residents enough to be on alert and stay informed as fire activity increases.”
Mr Crawford said the Government’s record $740 million Budget commitment to QFES meant that staff, including firefighters, volunteers and their support networks had access to the best equipment, training and communications.
“Last season is fresh in our minds and the numbers are still confronting: four million hectares of land burnt, 2611 fires and 1984 bushfire community warnings issued.”
Since the beginning of July, fire crews have already been hard at work putting out bushfires in the Wide Bay area, particularly around Bundaberg and Hervey Bay, and in the Gold Coast hinterland.
Operation Cool Burn has also been underway since April, with fire crews undertaking dozens of hazard reduction burns and fire breaks with landowners.
QFES Acting Commissioner Mike Wassing said residents need to take bushfire season seriously, especially since the Northern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook reported an increased likelihood of warmer and dryer conditions this season.
“As it stands right now, however, upcoming conditions do not look the same as they did during the 2018-19 season, but we can’t afford to rest on our laurels,” he said.
“We are well placed to tackle the impending bushfire season with improvements made in areas such as command and control, logistics, communications and information management.”
Visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au for more bushfire safety information.