COOL BURN: QFES will start its hazard reduction burning program in the Central Highlands this weekend.
COOL BURN: QFES will start its hazard reduction burning program in the Central Highlands this weekend.

Hazard reduction burn program begins in Central Highlands

UPDATE: The Central Highlands Regional Council rescheduled the hazard reduction burn for Saturday, May 30 at 11am, after postponing it last week because of poor weather.

Initial: A hazard reduction program to increase the safety of Central Highlands residents will begin this weekend.

The Central Highlands Regional Council is planning a controlled hazard reduction burn in the East Nogoa River Reserve in Emerald on Saturday, May 23.

Disaster management and community resilience coordinator Glenn Bell said it would be the first of many reduction burns that make up the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services' Operation Cool Burn.

"Council and QFES have identified the area as high risk for the upcoming season, so the purpose of this burn is to create a fire break along the Nogoa River to protect residents from an uncontrolled fire," Mr Bell said.

"While we will try our best to keep smoke and ash hazards to a minimum, we may see a fair bit on the day and ask residents in adjoining areas to take all necessary precautions to protect themselves and their properties."

He said the burn would be subject to weather on the day, as would the amount of smoke produced.

Emerald Fire Service acting area commander Clive Weeks said Operation Cool Burn had been running for several years and took advantage of cooler weather to make Queensland safer come fire season.

"This year we've got plans in place to deal with a number of mitigation control measures, not always burning," he said.

"It's all part of Operation Cool Burn to help prepare for the warmer months and providing preparation work to reduce the risk of uncontrolled fire.

"The operation encourages and enables services to work together with other agencies too, such as the council, landowners, SES, and the rural service."

Mr Weeks said the brigade's work would continue through to August in preparation for warmer weather from September onwards.


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