Fire mitigation preparation vital
THIS time last year, a nightmare fire season flared up ahead of normal schedule.
Bushfires don’t follow the calendar and, with this in mind, the Rural Fire Brigade has called for the public to get organised before it’s too late.
It may seem early, but last year’s horrendous spate of fires started in July and Warwick deputy group officer Mal Stacey said it was important to get organised.
He said he hoped the fire season wouldn’t be as intense as last year but people should still be vigilant.
Next weekend the Rural Fire Service, in conjunction with the Department of Main Roads, Queensland Rail and Southern Downs Regional Council, will carry out backburning on the Allora back road for about three kilometres from near the aerodrome towards Warwick.
Mr Stacey said this area was particularly dangerous in high-risk conditions as a north to north-westerly wind could cause embers to impact on Warwick.
“Last year was pretty intense. Our first fire was in July and we went until late January,” he said.
“Hopefully it won’t be until August or September this year but now is the time for people to be getting prepared.”
Mr Stacey said people should go around their properties removing flammable materials close to houses.
“Tidy up your gardens and get leaf litter out of gutters,” he said.
“You should also prepare plans for if a fire does impact on you.
“Since the Victoria fires, we are all giving the same advice – People should Prepare. Act. Survive.
“Anyone looking for more information can contact the fire service.”
In 2010/11 Southern Downs Regional Council budget, the Rural Fire Levy will increase by $10 a year to $30 on ratepayers’ bills.
Mr Stacey said this was something the brigade had campaigned for and would have struggled to survive without.
“We spend in excess of $20,000 more than we received.
“If the levy hadn’t increased, we would have run out of money for operational costs.”