Potentially dangerous fire season ahead
WITH heat records broken in the first week of spring, predictions of a dangerous fire season summer could come to fruition.
The rural fire service has been busy with hazard reduction burns across the Fraser Coast, in anticipation of a busy summer.
North Coast regional manager Peter Hollier said farmers and landholders, especially, needed to take precautions to minimise risk to their livestock and property.
"It is essential to have a bushfire survival plan to detail exactly how you will prepare and what action you will take, if threatened by a bushfire," he said.
"Your individual bushfire survival plan should take into account if you need to unlock gates for firefighter access - but firefighters do have the right to forcibly open or remove gates if they need to access a fire.
"This plan varies, depending on the lay of property, capabilities of the landholder and what pre-season preparation has been completed."
Mr Hollier said the plan could include monitoring local radio and television for updates, locating your bushfire kit, and moving all loose furniture inside and cars into secure undercover locations, where possible. But during an extreme or catastrophic fire weather day, he said the safest option was to leave, well in advance of any fire.
Time is also quickly running out for Fraser Coast landholders to continue backburning.
"Before a fire, farmers are encouraged to undertake hazard reduction burns and put in fire breaks, with permission from their local fire warden," Mr Hollier said.
"Reducing the fuel load on your property by taking these actions and cleaning up extra debris around your yard can slow the progress of a fire. Like any dry vegetation, sugarcane is a flammable fuel," he said.
Stay or go?
- Are there family members who are young or elderly?
- Are you physically and emotionally prepared to stay?
- Do you have the knowledge and skills to stay?
- Can your home withstand a bushfire?
- Do you have well-maintained resources and equipment to fight fire?