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Get ready for typical fire season

Posted: 6am 07 Aug 2020

Danger levels may have eased from this time last year, but the Moreton Bay Region has still been given a stark bushfire warning by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

Our region entered a new bushfire season at the beginning of August, but a QFES chief says nothing has changed.

“We are expecting a typical bushfire season. We will get fires. Do not get complacent,” says Konrad Sawczynski, Acting Superintendent of QFES Brisbane Region, which covers Moreton Bay, Redlands, Somerset and Brisbane.

Twelve months ago, Queensland had just started what became an ‘unprecedented’ bushfire season which stretched the state’s fire service to the limit.

There were major fires on Bribie Island and just outside the Moreton Bay Region near Jimna, which had multiple warnings over several days.

Blazes on Bribie

This year, the conditions are less severe but firefighters are taking no chances.

“It was an unprecedented nine-month season last time,” Supt Sawczynski says. “Fatigue levels on the frontline and among supporting staff were very, very high.

“There were long shifts. It was hot, sweaty and at times frustrating given the lack of preparation at some properties.

“There was pride if a job was done well, but in some cases it might only have taken a few minutes for someone to help by tidying outside a home.”

Supt Sawczynski said the Drought Index, which QFES refers to, was last year hovering between 170-196. 200 is rated serious.

“The current average is about 110. This time last year, we already had 30 fires. This year we have none,” Supt Sawczynski says.

“But we are expecting a typical bushfire season and we will get fires. We don’t have the dry conditions of last year, but the message remains - do not be complacent.”

Simple safety tips

The Rural Fire Service Queensland warns: “An unprepared property is not only a risk to itself but may also present an increased danger to neighbours”.

Be prepared and keep your house safe:

  • Clear leaves, twigs, bark and other debris from the roof and gutters
  • Enclose open areas under decks and floors, buy gutter plugs
  • Install fine steel wire mesh screens on all windows, doors, vents and weep holes
  • Point LPG cylinder relief away from house, check pumps, generators, water systems
  • Display your house or lot number prominently, have wide access for fire trucks
  • Reduce vegetation, cut grass regularly, remove excess ground fuel, trim low branches
  • Have sufficient protective clothing, fully stock first aid kit
  • Move wood piles, paper, boxes, hanging baskets, garden furniture away from home
  • Have house and car insurance

Check for your closest Neighbourhood Safer Place and update your Bushfire Survival Plan

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