Tanby Road Bushfire mitigation works area.
Tanby Road Bushfire mitigation works area.

Bushfire risk reduction strategies amp up

LIVINGSTONE Shire Council is on a mission to conduct bushfire mitigation works following an extensive 12-month audit conducted in conjunction with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

The desktop audit of all council owned and administered unmaintained land of over 500 allotments identified over 230 as requiring a site visit for further assessment.

Following the site visits, priority allotments from the 230 allotments were further inspected with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services officers or Rural Fire Brigade wardens who identified 33 allotments in and around Yeppoon, Emu Park, Zilzie, The Caves and Keppel Sands as being of concern.

While the report showed most council allotments are either currently maintained to an acceptable standard or present only a low fire risk, Livingstone Council have swung into action beginning the first of the fire mitigations planned for this weekend.

Local Disaster Management Group Chair, Mayor Bill Ludwig, said a planned burn to be conducted on a property at Tanby Rd, Taroomball on Saturday, weather permitting, will be the first of a number of reduction burns to take place on Council-owned land following the audit that highlighted areas at risk.

“Nineteen properties were identified as requiring management action to mitigate fire risk, however it has been identified by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Izone officer that these council properties present a high fire risk to 62 adjoining private residences,” Cr Ludwig said.

“Where the hazard is in proximity to dwellings or significant infrastructure the risk is amplified and council take their responsibility very seriously.

“Extreme fire conditions and fire bans made starting the burn program last year almost impossible, however council will be hitting the ground running over coming months while favourable conditions last.

“Through discussions with QFES and local rural fire brigades, council has a clear understanding of what’s required to conduct these mitigation burns and has identified a number of priority locations within the region where these burns will take place.

“Hazard reduction burns are undertaken to protect nearby properties and structures by burning ground fuels such as leaf litter and grass. These types of fires are generally ‘cool’ and are undertaken in appropriate weather conditions so that the fire burns slowly with small flames.

“Following on from last year’s devastating wildfires, it is vital that every council takes the proactive measures that Livingstone is putting in place to, where possible, reduce the impacts of potential future bushfires and the threat they pose to our urban and rural communities.”

Surrounding residents are encouraged to follow the advice of health authorities if affected by smoke in the area.

Inquiries https://www.qld.gov.au/health/staying-healthy/environmental/after-a-disaster/bushfires/bushfire-smoke-and-your-health