Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has announced Brisbane’s annual planned burn program will be ramped up after warnings of increased bushfire risk this season.
Cr Schrinner said Council’s expert of officers were well advanced in preparations with a planned burn undertaken earlier this week in Ransome and another to occur today in Burbank.
The Lord Mayor said Council’s $5.6 million investment in fire preparedness also included a series of new and improved fire access tracks through Brisbane’s bushland.
“From one of Brisbane’s biggest ever floods last year, we now must get prepared for the risk of fire,” Cr Schrinner said.
“Authorities are warning that with a shift from a La Nina to El Nino weather cycle, there’s considerable risk of fire this season.
“Council has been preparing for this by investing in the equipment and undertaking the necessary work to reduce fire risks.
“Just like floods, we can’t prevent fires occurring but we can be better prepared.”
Council has undertaken 64 planned burns impacting 987 hectares across Brisbane since 2018.
Cr Schrinner said Council’s expert team had undertaken significant work to identify sites where planned burns may be needed this season and will proceed with these at times when weather conditions permit.
“Brisbane is Australia’s greenest capital city and Council manages more than 10,000 hectares of beautiful bushland and natural areas across our city,” he said.
“Our officers are constantly working to identify areas where there’s a build-up of fire fuel, such as grass, leaves and dead wood, that could have potentially devastating impacts on nearby residents if left unmanaged.
“By undertaking these planned burns now, our officers aim to reduce the amount of fire fuel available and mitigate the potential bushfire risk in those areas to protect our homes and surrounding habitats.”
Along with a team of 100 fire fighters, Council also operates 20 four-wheel drive light attack firefighting units.
Council’s investment in fire preparedness also includes fire trail construction, fuel hazard and fire response monitoring and fire management plans, as well as managing vegetation and maintaining fire access tracks and trials.
Cr Schrinner said urged residents living near bushland to starting taking the necessary steps to prepare for bushfire season.
“There are some simple steps residents can take at home to be prepared in the event of a wildfire near them,” he said.
“Any residents who live next to bushland or in rural areas should prepare a bushfire survival plan and practice it with their family.
“Brisbane residents can also prepare their properties by tidying the yard, clearing gutters, and overhanging branches and raking up twigs and dried leaves from around the house and garden.
“We also encourage all households to prepare an emergency kit with important household items, insurance documents, emergency phone numbers and necessary items for your children and pets to keep in an easily accessible place at home.
“Any residents who are concerned about the possible effects of smoke on their health should please refer to Council’s website, where there is practical advice on how to minimise the effects of smoke – of course, if you are having trouble breathing or experiencing chest pain, please seek medical attention immediately.”
Council will advise the community of each planned burn ahead of time via a Community Service Announcement.
For more information, visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au and search ‘planned burns.