Queensland’s bushfire season officially starts today, 1 August.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said QFES had been preparing with landowners and managers during Operation Cool Burn, which began in April.
“Since then, QFES has completed or helped with dozens of mitigation activities, including hazard reduction burns, community education and fire breaks.
“Plus, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is continuing its hard work in bushfire mitigation, and last year conducted more than 300 planned burns that covered more than a million hectares – 62 per cent higher than the targeted amount.
“The Palaszczuk Government has also committed a further $16 million to its Fire Management Project, further underscoring our commitment to keeping Queenslanders safe.
“The thing to keep at top of mind, though, is that bushfire prevention is always a community effort – it’s about individuals, organisations, local governments and state government departments working together.
“After last year’s catastrophic and unprecedented season, QFES is equipped to deal with more major bushfires and our highly-skilled firefighters are ready to respond.
“In the past financial year, we put 119 brand new rural fire trucks on Queensland’s roads and I can’t urge residents enough to be on alert and stay informed as fire activity increases.”
Mr Crawford said the Government’s record $740 million Budget commitment to QFES meant that staff, including firefighters, volunteers and their support networks had access to the best equipment, training and communications.
“Last season is fresh in our minds and the numbers are still confronting: four million hectares of land burnt, 2611 fires and 1984 bushfire community warnings issued.
“Since the beginning of July, we’ve already had some significant bushfires in the Wide Bay area, particularly around Bundaberg and Hervey Bay, and in the Gold Coast hinterland.”
QFES Acting Commissioner Mike Wassing said the Northern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook reported an increased likelihood of warmer and dryer conditions this season.
“As it stands right now, however, upcoming conditions do not look the same as they did during the 2018-19 season, but we can’t afford to rest on our laurels,” he said.
“We are well placed to tackle the impending bushfire season with improvements made in areas such as command and control, logistics, communications and information management.”
For more information visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford