RESIDENTS in southeast Queensland are being warned to prepare now for an early bushfire season.
The warning comes as new figures reveal the South Coast and West Moreton areas ranked second and third respectively on Queensland Fire and Emergency Services’ bushfire hotspot list.
The list compares the number of bushfires by season across all 17 Rural Fire Service (RFS) commands, with the latest report covering the 2017 bushfire season.
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RFS Regional Manager Alan Gillespie said the potential for a “big season” in the southeast was high, with parts of the region rapidly drying out.
“We have already seen a number of fast-running grass fires in recent weeks,” he said.
“Bushfires don’t discriminate. Embers can travel significant distances, crossing several properties and streets to impact areas well ahead of the fire line.
“Preparation, including having a Bushfire Survival Plan, can prevent heartache and give you, your family and your property a fighting chance should bushfire strike.”
Mr Gillespie said Ipswich, Beaudesert, the Lockyer Valley and Somerset regions had been identified as this season’s key areas of concern.
“These locations pose a significant bushfire risk, so it is essential the community works with us now to identify and remove potential threats,” Mr Gillespie said.
“Our rural firefighters, together with other agencies, have been out in force conducting planned burns to reduce fuel loads across the region, but the window of opportunity to prepare is closing.
“Residents and landholders need to be proactive and finalise their preparations now.
“That means clearing up yards, removing dry or dead leaf litter and keeping flammable items away from homes and sheds.
“Those on larger properties should determine if they need firebreaks in place or conduct any final hazard reduction burns, remembering to always speak to the local fire warden for advice on local conditions and to obtain a permit.”
Visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au for more information.