It's never too early to be bushfire ready
AFTER a catastrophic bushfire season last year and with another fast approaching, Rockhampton Regional Council is urging residents to start preparing.
Chairman of the Local Disaster Management Group, councillor Tony Williams, said everyone has a role to play in bushfire mitigation.
"As we saw last year, once a fire begins it can travel unbelievably quickly and be incredibly difficult to put out,” Cr Williams said.
"However, if we all act now as a community we can really reduce the chances of a fire starting in the first place, and make sure we're not feeding any small fires that do begin. "
He said installing fire breaks, keeping lawns mowed, gutters cleaned, and overgrown vegetation slashed would make a huge difference in the event of a fire.
"(people should clear) any green waste from their property, such as hedge trimmings, palm fronds, lawn clippings, and leaf litter, which can all be disposed of for free at any of council's Waste Transfer Stations,” Cr Williams said.
He also stressed the importance that every household should have a current bushfire survival plan and emergency kit, available from Rural Fire Services, ready to go in case a bushfire begins.
"I know that even though everyone in our community understands how disastrous a fire can be, in our day-to-day lives it can be easy to put off cleaning our gutters or making a plan,” he said.
RFS regional manager Brian Smith said while firefighters do what they can to mitigate the chances of a fire, whole community effort is required.
"Since the beginning of April our crews have been working hard to reduce the risk of bushfires, and we will be out in force over the coming months,” he said.
"However, recent weather conditions have meant that we haven't been able to make full use of the traditional bushfire hazard reduction period, known as Operation Cool Burn.”
"Some hazard reduction burns have been put on hold, and there is a chance we will see a shorter than usual Cool Burn period this year.
"Fire prevention is always a whole of community issue, however, fewer hazard reduction burns this year means that it is absolutely crucial for individuals to do what they can to ensure we all stay safe this bushfire season.”
For further information on bushfire prevention and to start creating your Bushfire Survival Plan head to ruralfire.qld.gov.au.