Bushfire season's warming up

Published 6:00am 21 March 2023

Bushfire season's warming up
Words by Nick Crockford

The bushfire season is changing and firefighters are responding – so must the region's residents.

Traditionally, bushfire seasons have run from July-October and on occasion, into the summer months.

But global warming is affecting climates and rural firefighters are already tackling blazes in the Moreton Bay Region and beyond.

As a result, Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) is urging residents to prepare for the bushfire season now.

To help, community information sessions will be held - one at Bribie Island RSL on March 30, 10am-noon. Others are planned for Mt Mee and Wamuran.

“Seasons are definitely changing,” Rural Fire Service (RFS) Bushfire Safety Officer Liane Henderson said.

Bushfire season's warming up

“There’s been so much rain (over the last two years) that bushfires have been pushed out of people’s minds.

“Everyone can think back to 2019-20 bushfire season and even 2018 It’s cyclical - big wet, big dry, rain, floods, longer bushfire seasons.

“Now you might see greenery on top, but have a good look and it is really, really dry underneath.

“We had a fire at Kobble Creek recently which was fast running and a bit of a wake-up call.”

Those concerns are increasing as Australia moves out of the La Nina (wetter weather pattern) and possibly towards another El Nino (dry weather).

Bushfire season's warming up

Officer Henderson said the relevant agencies, including RFS, Queensland Parks and Wildlife and Moreton Bay Regional Council, have been assessing the highest risk bushfire areas. Hazard reduction burns are under way.

Officer Henderson said important updates will be given at the community sessions on what to expect, how to get ready, and understanding fire warnings.

“During the information session we will discuss the different warning levels, so everyone is aware of the actions they will need to take should a warning be issued for the area,” she said.

“We will also discuss the new Australian Fire Danger Ratings System and simple steps everyone can take to ensure their home is prepared for bushfire season.”

Bushfire season's warming up

RFS tips for residents include:

  • Review and update your Bushfire Survival Plan as a household and neighbourhood
  • Remove hazards and flammable materials that may connect to your home
  • Regularly mow your lawn
  • Trim overhanging branches near your house
  • Ensure your home and contents policy is up to date to ensure you are protected in the event of a bushfire impacting your home
  • Ensure your house number is clearly displayed
  • In rural areas, ensure there is adequate space for fire trucks to access your home (at least 4m wide and high with turn-around area)

A national approach is now being used in the Australian Warning System during emergencies like bushfire, flood, storm, extreme heat and severe weather.

It uses a national set of icons designed after feedback and research across the country.

Australia’s fire danger rating system has been simplified to make it easier for residents to understand and act on fire danger risk.
It also operates on a national level with the same warnings and levels of threat across Australia.


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