Firefighters call for group to continue

THE extension of a working group implementing recommendations to help rural firefighters will ensure emergency volunteer numbers grow.

That is the view of the Rural Fire Brigades Association of Queensland which came out in support of the group's continuation to ensure the 23 outstanding recommendations, out of 91, are completed.

The RFBAQ believes correctly implementing the recommendations from the Malone Review will result in not only volunteer growth in all agencies but increased retention rate for existing volunteers.

Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Jack Dempsey said Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) will work proactively with landholders as part of Operation Cool Burn.

"Ahead of this year's bushfire season, if we all do a little, we'll accomplish a lot," he said.

"I urge all Queenslanders to identify their risk and start talking about their bushfire survival plan."

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Lee Johnson said the Operation Cool Burn standing order, which had been distributed to all firefighters around the state, outlined several objectives for crews to work towards before the end of winter.

"Queensland firefighters will identify bushfire-prone areas, prioritise areas to conduct mitigation activities and engage with local landholders to assist them with reducing their risk through activities such as controlled burns," he said.

"Queensland's bushfire season traditionally begins mid-year so it's vital that these activities are undertaken now to avoid a disaster later in the year."

More information on the bushfire season can be found online here.

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