Disaster managementBushfire

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What is the hazard?

Bushfire Moreton Bay Regional Council works with the Queensland Fire and Emergency service and their Rural Fire Service division, to undertake planned burns and community education activities to make sure our region is well prepared.

Bushfires can pose a very real threat to the Moreton Bay Region. Council provides a number of helpful resources to assist you in preparing for bushfire season.

What is the hazard?

Bushfires can pose a very real threat to the Moreton Bay Region. Council provides a number of helpful resources to assist you in preparing for bushfire season.

You don't have to live in the bush to be threatened by bushfire, just close enough to be affected by burning embers or smoke.

It only takes a few weeks of hot, dry and windy weather to create dangerous fire conditions.

Fires can occur in suburbs where houses have grassland, bush or parkland around them.

In an emergency always contact Triple Zero (000).

Bushfire risks

A bushfire or grassfire can occur anytime throughout the year.

Bushfire season traditionally occurs between August and November in South-East Queensland when conditions are dry.

Grassfires and bushfires can occur earlier or later in the year depending on the weather.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service and RuralFire Service are the primary providers of bushfire preparations and response in Queensland.

Moreton Bay Regional Council works with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service and Rural Fire Service, Queensland Parks and Wildlife, and other key agencies to reduce the risk of bushfire in our region.

Preparations for bushfire season

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service is encouraging local residents to PREPARE.ACT.SURVIVE. this bushfire season.

Prepare yourself - with a:

  • Bushfire Survival Plan  [PDF 1.75MB]
    Make sure you have a Bushfire Survival handy resource Plan before the bushfire season starts and that all family members are familiar with the plan.
    The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service provides a handy resource to help you and your family prepare your plan.
  • Bushfire Survival Kit  [PDF 2.55MB] - prepare the kit and have it stored ready to use.
    Your kit should include a mop, gloves, torch, hose, shovel, towels, buckets, safety goggles, ladder, medication, important documentation like insurance, medical and banking information, cash, wallet or purse, bottle drinking water, fire extinguishers, battery-operated radio, spare batteries, smoke mask, woollen blankets, and first-aid kit, protective clothing like long sleeve shirts and pants or jeans.
  • Familiarise yourself with early warning sirens in your area.

Prepare your property:

  • Make sure your property has cleared access for fire trucks
  • Cut back overhanging trees
  • Rake up leaves, twigs and branches
  • Cut grass regularly, keeping it as short as possible
  • Clear leaves from your roof, gutters and downpipes
  • Do not pile-up wood or store green waste close to your house
  • Clear space around buildings
  • Keep your garden hose connected and ready to use
  • Ensure your garden hose can reach every corner of your property
  • Be mindful of the location of your gas cylinders. Make sure pressure valves face away from your house
  • Fill in any gaps around windows, door frames and eaves.

Prepare to leave

  • If you plan to leave - do so early - before a fire reaches your area
  • Advise family members, neighbours or other loved ones if you have left
  • Listen to ABC 612 AM, 101.5FM or 99.7 FM for information and advice
  • Refer to the Rural Fire Service website for more information about current incidents
  • Locate your Bushfire Survival Kit
  • Activate your Bushfire Survival Plan and follow it.

For more tips to help you PREPARE.ACT.SURVIVE. , please visit the Rural Fire Service website.

Fire management

Fire is a natural and necessary part of the Australian landscape.

Woodlands, forests, heath communities, and grasslands have evolved with and require fire to maintain the diversity of these ecosystems.
Moreton Bay Regional Council supports the South East Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium which undertakes education and research into the role of fire in the environment.

Council's fire management is based upon the best practice information on risk profiles, fire ecology and fire behaviour.
Fire is an essential part of council's land management practices.

Hazard reduction activities

Moreton Bay Regional Council manages approximately 9,000 hectares of bushland.

Council works in partnership with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service and adjoining landowners to undertake hazard reduction burns and other fire mitigation activities.

Council planned burns

Planned burns are used by council and other land management agencies such as Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Seqwater, and property owners to:

  • reduce fuel loads to decrease risk to life and property
  • aid in weed control and land rehabilitation
  • maintain habitat diversity by burning areas of varying sizes at different times.

Community Notification

Be aware of planned burns in your area. Information about upcoming burns is letterboxed to neighbours around planned burn areas.

If you become aware of a fire in your area and are unsure if it is a planned burn please check the list of planned burns on council's website.

The Rural Fire Service website also provides information about current bushfire incidents.

To report all uncontrolled fires, call Triple Zero (000).

Council liaises with local media outlets to promote upcoming burns. Details of planned burns are provided to radio stations in the lead up to and on the day of the burn.

Local laws

Part 4 of the Local Law and Subordinate Local Law No.3 regulates the lighting of fires in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area.

  • Lighting or maintaining a fire outdoors on an allotment 3,000 square metres or less is not permitted unless the fire is contained in a barbeque or another cooking device using clean and dry combustible material.
  • Lighting or maintaining a fire outdoors on an allotment greater than 3,001 square metres is permitted on the following conditions:
    • only clean and dry non-toxic combustible material may be burned
    • only one fire may be burning at any time
    • appropriate fire fighting equipment, which may include water, hoses and pumps, must be on the site at all times
    • fires must not be lit before 7 am and must be extinguished no later than dusk, on the same day
    • ashes must be thoroughly wetted down when a fire is extinguished
    • the person proposing to light a fire must advise all neighbours of the intention to light a fire and the date on which this will occur
    • fires must be set back at least 6 metres from every property boundary and building
    • a responsible person (someone who has control or management of a place) must be in attendance at the fire at all times until the fire is extinguished.
  • This section does not apply to the lighting or maintaining of a fire authorised under Section 63, 65 or 69 of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990.

In addition to council’s local laws, a permit may also be required from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service to light a fire.

Declared Fire Danger Period

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service can declare a Fire Danger Period.

A Fire Danger Period identifies a time of the year when uncontrolled fires could be potentially very dangerous.

During a Fire Danger Period, a Permit to Light Fire may be required for some fires where a permit is not usually required.

It is important to note that a Fire Danger Period is not a fire ban. A fire ban may still be imposed during a Fire Danger Period.

You should always check with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service first before lighting a fire.

Fire Bans

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service has the authority to declare a fire banwhich restricts the use of fire.
When a fire ban is in place:

  • the lighting of fires in the declared fire ban areas (usually covers whole local government areas) is prohibited
  • all open fires are prohibited
  • all Permits to Light Fire issued in the designated area are cancelled
  • other special conditions (or exemptions) may be imposed.

You should always check if a Fire Ban has been implemented in your area prior to lighting any fires.

Information regarding Fire Bans is available on the Rural Fire Service website, or by contacting 1800 020 440.

Permit to Light Fire

A permit may be required from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service to light a fire. For more information about obtaining a permit to light fire, please refer to the Rural Fire Service website or contact the regional office in Caboolture on (07) 5420 1333.

Waste Management Facilities

Council operates a number of waste management facilities within the region where waste may be disposed, as an alternative to burning vegetation and other waste materials.

Smoke hazards

Extra care should be taken when driving in areas affected by smoke and or fire.

Check road conditions and listen to local radio stations ABC 612AM, 101.5FM or 99.7FM for additional information.

Children, the elderly, and people with asthma and other breathing problems may need to take particular care during the bushfire season.

Asthma Foundation

The Asthma Foundation recommends people take the following precautions during bushfire season:

  • Visit the doctor to update their Asthma Action Plan prior to the burn-off / bushfire season
  • When there is smoke from fires in the area, unless advised to evacuate, stay indoors, close all windows and doors and block all air vents and use a filtered air conditioner to circulate air
  • Avoid doing physical activity outdoors when there is smoke around
  • Continue using preventer medication as prescribed on a written Asthma Action Plan and ensure plenty of reliever medication is available at all times
  • Keep an extra reliever puffer with an evacuation kit if evacuation is suddenly required. Do not keep an inhaler in cars as extreme heat may make medication ineffective. Some medication canisters can also explode under intense heat conditions in cars.

Visit the Asthma Foundation's website for more information about what to do during bushfire season.

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