Pine Mountain Rural Fire Brigade firefighter and volunteer community educator Neal Butler is preparing for a busy fire season. Photo: David Nielsen
Pine Mountain Rural Fire Brigade firefighter and volunteer community educator Neal Butler is preparing for a busy fire season. Photo: David Nielsen

Bushfires the next threat

WHILE one of Ipswich’s wettest summers on record has caused months of grief for flood-affected residents, it could also result in some delayed anxiety for those living on our bushy outskirts.

Firefighters have warned that a build-up of fuel – fed by extreme rainfall since September last year – could lead to a severe fire season if it is allowed to dry sufficiently this winter.

In anticipation of a busy year, rural fire brigades across the district have already planned community meetings to prepare local land owners for what could be coming.

Ripley Valley Rural Fire Brigade warden Jim Runham said the fire season could start as early as August.

“There has been significant growth over the wet season and if we have a cold winter, we’re facing an early and a significant risk,” Mr Runham said.

“Residents need to start preparing now.”

Mr Runham encouraged landholders to consult their local brigade or the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service to come up with a fire management plan for their property.

“The place where the bush meets residential areas is the place most at risk,” he said.

“If you live in one of these areas and you don’t have a plan, you need to look at putting one in place.”

Firefighters recommend clearing any overgrown vegetation around the house, cleaning out gutters and conducting hazard reduction burns if necessary.

Pine Mountain Rural Fire Brigade will hold its community awareness day at the local community hall on May 14, starting at 1pm.

Residents will be guided through the steps they need to take to ensure they are ready for the upcoming bushfire season.

Ipswich residents who require information or assistance to prepare can call their local rural fire brigade or the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service district office on 3381 7122.



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