Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is reminding South West Queensland residents of the Permit to Light a Fire system when preparing their properties for the upcoming bushfire season.
Rural Fire Service (RFS) Acting Regional Manager Tim Chittenden said landholders needed to apply for a permit if they planned to light fires on their property bigger than two metres in any direction.
“Bushfire mitigation is a community effort and we’re asking residents to pitch in and do their bit on their own properties,” Mr Chittenden said. “Property owners must remove and dispose of any vegetation or flammable material that could start a fire and maintain any fire breaks they put in.”
Mr Chittenden said now was the perfect time for South West residents to conduct hazard reduction burns on their properties in preparation for bushfire season. “Conditions are looking favourable over the coming weeks across South West Queensland,” he said.
“Temperatures are starting to drop, and we’ve just had a bit of rain which makes land ideal for hazard reductions burns.” He urged residents to take advantage of these conditions sooner rather than later.
“We often see landholders relying on firefighters to put in fire breaks and burn fuel loads on their properties, without taking the proper steps to reduce the fire risk themselves first,” Mr Chittenden said.
“If the fuel load is on your property, you are responsible for managing and reducing the fire risk. Remember, if you own the fuel, you own the fire.”
Landholders are also required to let their neighbours know if they apply for a Permit to Light Fire, check if hazard reduction burns are permitted in their local government area and if they need council approval.
“Permits ensure emergency services are aware of any permitted burns in the area so they can be managed safety,” Mr Chittenden said. “All you need to do is contact your local fire warden, provide the location of the burn, a risk management plan and a list of resources that will be at the site. This can all be done through the RFS website.
“QFES is here to help, however it is important everyone does their bit to help out.” Permits are free and to apply is easy. For more information or to contact your local Fire Warden visit the RFS website – www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.