CONTROLLED FIRE: Ripley Rural Fire Brigade were hard at work conducting a hazard reduction burn at Purga on Sunday. Pictured Sally Vertigan.
CONTROLLED FIRE: Ripley Rural Fire Brigade were hard at work conducting a hazard reduction burn at Purga on Sunday. Pictured Sally Vertigan. Rob Williams

Smoky days ahead for Ipswich to avoid disaster

THE SURGE in development on Ipswich's southern outskirts has given firefighters more reason to get the safety message out.

Ripley Valley Rural Fire Brigade will be just one of the many teams conducting hazard reduction burns in the coming weeks as the city prepares itself for what could be a dangerous bush fire season.

Ripley Valley crews were busy on Sunday as they conducted burning across several hectares off Siddons Rd at Purga, and there are many more hazard reduction operations to come.

Ripley Valley second officer Dave Morris said recent frosts combined with a significant build-up of fuel had the potential to create a significant hazard after the bushfire season begins on August 1.

"Because of the amount of fuel around it could be quite a bad fire season,” Mr Morris said.

"We haven't had a bad one for a few years now - in fact 2012 was the last bad one - so there is quite a bit of fuel lying around.”

The idea of Operation Cool Burn is to eliminate as much of that potential fuel before bush fire conditions become too severe.

In the Ipswich region, the strong and dry westerly winds combined with warmer temperatures that come in August can be the recipe for disaster.

Mr Morris said the urban fringes of Ipswich, especially areas like Ripley and Springfield, could be susceptible and residents needed to be prepared.

"They need to ensure their gutters and roofs are clear of little sticks and leaves and their yards are clear of grass and leaf litter,' he said.

"Otherwise, there is always the potential for an ember attack.”

Further hazard reduction burns are planned but Queensland Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to do their own preparations by coming up with a Bushfire Survival Plan.

Further information is available at ruralfire.qld.gov.au.



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