Hazard reduction burns will be carried out in Emerald on July 18. Picture: Richard Dobson
Hazard reduction burns will be carried out in Emerald on July 18. Picture: Richard Dobson

Hazard burns to prevent fires at ‘high-risk’ locations

A HAZARD ruction burn will be held in Emerald at the weekend, targeting a high-risk location near the river.

The controlled burn is planned for land along the western side of the Nogoa River, below Codenwarra Road on July 18.

The burn will be carried out as part of the annual Operation Cool Burn program and will be supported by Central Highlands Regional Council, local rural fire units and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES).

“The purpose of this burn is to create a fire break along the Nogoa River to protect residents from uncontrolled fire,” CHRC coordinator Disaster Management and Community Resilience Glenn Bell said.

“This area has been determined as high risk by council and QFES for this summer season.

“We ask residents in the adjoining areas to take all necessary precautions to protect themselves and their properties from the possibility of smoke and ash, as there may be a large amount present during the burn-off.”

Mr Bell said smoke may affect the Capricorn Highway and members of the State Emergency Service would be on standby to provide traffic management if needed.

He said below average rainfall and prolonged high temperatures could mean another challenging bushfire season for the region.

READ: CQ town highest risk area for severe house fires

“Now is the time to prepare as much as we can,” Mr Bell said.

“Council has developed a bushfire plan in consultation with QFES and other local stakeholders, identifying high-risk localities, high-risk hot spots and mitigation actions.

“These actions include hazard reduction burns to reduce fuel loads, improvement of strategic fire breaks by landholders and targeted community education.”

Although he said everyone had a part to play, providing simple steps for people to carry out at home.

– Clear leaves, twigs, bark and other debris from the roof and gutters.

– Enclose open areas under decks and floors.

– Point LPG cylinder relief valves away from the house.

– Conduct maintenance checks on pumps, generators and water systems.

– Seal all gaps in external roof and wall cladding.

– Display a prominent house or lot number, in case it is required in an emergency.

– Reduce vegetation loads along the access path.

– Mow your grass regularly.

– Remove excess ground fuels and combustible material (long dry grass, dead leaves and branches).

– Trim low-lying branches two metres from the ground surrounding your home.

Mr Bell said every household should also have a bushfire survival plan prepared and keep it in a safe place, ready for use at short notice.

For more tips and resources on how to ensure your property is prepared for bushfire season, visit the Queensland Government Rural Fire Service site.

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