Firies put in last ditch prep as bushfire season begins
SPRING is not even upon us yet, but the fire season has begun.
August 1 marked the official start of the bushfire season, and while many enjoyed the warm winter sunshine during the weekend, rural fire fighters were busy making last minute preparations.
Operation Shazam resulted in 22 brigades and more than 30 appliances take part in five hazard reduction burns across the West Moreton region across the weekend.
Rural fire service area director West Moreton acting inspector Paul Storrs said the operation was about ensuring the local brigades were ready to go in what could be a dangerous fire season.
"We're testing and exercising all of our various tools and training ... and putting into practice some of the training we've done over the off season, to make sure we're all up-skilled and ready to go,” Insp Storrs said.
"This is really key to having us ready, it's all about that readiness and having us on the front foot so to speak, ready to get in and support the community for this coming season.”
The hazard reduction burns took place at targeted bushfire risk areas at Moore, Linville, Murphys Creek, Coominya, Wivenhoe Pocket, and England Creek.
Insp Storrs said training exercises like Operation Shazam were vital to crews were working together well before the season kicked off in earnest.
"It also allows for that average firefighter - that average person that jumps into a truck - to have had a chance to get in front of flames under less stressful situations so they can take the time to learn and up skill as well,” he said.
This fire season is widley tipped to be as bad, if not worse than last year's catastrophic conditions.
Insp Storrs said the local brigades were well prepared for the season ahead.
"At this stage we are as prepared as we can be, but we are very cautiously ready for it,” he said.
"We still have the belief that this season has the potential to be as bad or worse than last year.”
With fire fighters having put the final touches on their prep, Insp Storrs said it was now up to landholders and resident to put the final pieces place - before it was too late.
"Landholders, people living on the land and around communities, they need to be prepared - our fire season is here, and within the next few weeks you will see fires run,” he warned.
"Now is the time, if they haven't got a bushfire survival plan in place - get it done today.”