FIRE RISK: The Ipswich region clocked the highest number of grassfires across regional Queensland in eight weeks.
FIRE RISK: The Ipswich region clocked the highest number of grassfires across regional Queensland in eight weeks. File

More than 100 Ipswich properties in bushfire danger zone

IPSWICH is on very high fire danger alert after the region clocked the highest number of grassfires across regional Queensland in just eight weeks.

But residents can breathe a small sigh of relief after sophisticated mapping found only a small number of properties in danger of bushfires over the 2014-15 fire season.

An APN Newsdesk investigation found there were 225 grassfires between August 1 and September 30 compared to Rockhampton with 184, Sunshine Coast with 167 and Toowoomba with 82.

There are 125 Ipswich properties in the danger zone.

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has conducted 50 burns over more than 5989ha in the greater South East region.

One of Queensland's top fire officers said there was potential for disaster, especially when the westerly winds whipped up.

Rural Fire Service Queensland Assistant Commissioner Neil Gallant said rain along the south-east of the state had dampened the tinderbox.

"Because it's inland, particularly areas just west of Ipswich, they don't get as much rain as the coast gets," Mr Gallant said.

"That is an area of higher than average potential this year.

"So far the activity has only been average but we haven't yet seen the dry westerlies come through into that area."

Emergency Services Minister Jack Dempsey said the Rural Fire Service Queensland used sophisticated mapping technology to identify the properties which faced high fire dangers.

"We want all Queensland families to remain safe this bushfire season and our mapping technology has allowed us to directly target properties at risk," Mr Dempsey said.

"They will be provided with a flyer and fridge magnet with information on what different bushfire warnings mean and how they should prepare for a bushfire.

"If you receive this information in the mail you will know that the RFSQ has identified your property as being at risk of being impacted by bushfire."

National Parks Minister Steve Dickson said the QPWS had reduced fuel hazards over the past few months.

"Reducing fuel hazards is particularly important in managing the potential threat of fire to human life and property," he said. "However, the burning program also has benefits for biodiversity and the environmental values of our parks and forests."

BURNING UP

Grassfires by region from August 1 to September 30 (Area, Number)

  • Ipswich: 225
  • Rockhampton: 184
  • Sunshine Coast: 167
  • Toowoomba: 82
  • Bundaberg: 75
  • Fraser Coast: 74
  • Mackay: 70
  • Gladstone: 46
  • Gympie: 21
  • Warwick: 15

Total: 959

DANGER ZONE

  • Ipswich properties at risk: Very high danger: 125

Source: Queensland Fire and Emergency Service



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