LANDHOLDERS are being urged to educate themselves about bushfire mitigation as Operation Cool Burn officially launched across Queensland yesterday, encouraging people to take advantage of the cooler weather to prepare for fire season.
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll attended mitigation activities undertaken by the Brookfield Rural Fire Brigade, which demonstrated the importance of preparation ahead of this year's bushfire season.
"Bushfire mitigation helps reduce the potential impact of significant blazes during bushfire season and its importance can't be underestimated," Mr Crawford said.
"Recent rainfall has certainly eased the dry conditions around some parts of the state and may give QFES and its land management agency partners the chance to undertake hazard reduction burns in the coming months.
"However, reducing bushfire risk needs to be a partnership with the public - it's essential you limit fire risk on your property.
"Bushfires don't discriminate, they don't know property boundaries."
Mr Crawford said last year showed that bushfires were a real threat, with fires burning intensely across the state.
"Removing fuel loads from the landscape could help reduce bushfire threats and minimise potential damage to properties and the environment, but conditions could make this hard and it does not remove the risk entirely.
"I encourage everyone to be proactive and start preparing now to take advantage of the milder conditions like QFES will be.
"Simple tasks around your property could be extremely beneficial; putting in fire breaks, mowing lawns, slashing overgrown vegetation and emptying gutters.
"Review and update your household Bushfire Survival Plan, find out if there is a nearby Neighbourhood Safer Place, check your first aid kit is fully stocked and check you have sufficient personal protective clothing and equipment."
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Commissioner Carroll said the agency was involved in more than 3,000 hazard reduction burns last year.
"As always, Operation Cool Burn is dependent on the weather, and that's why it's so important for residents to take proactive measures of their own on their properties," Ms Carroll said.
"Queensland's bushfire season traditionally begins mid-year so it's vital that these activities are undertaken now to minimise potential danger later in the year.
"At the end of this mitigation period we aim to have a substantial reduction in hazards and to be well prepared for bushfire season. I ask that our communities are also well prepared so that together we can reduce the impacts of the 2019 bushfire season."
Ms Carroll said while the onus was on individuals to prepare themselves, there was plenty of support available.
"QFES is a knowledge hub - we are here to help and will work alongside Queensland residents," she said.
"Ensure you're in the know and engaged by contacting your local fire warden or QFES office or fire brigade, following QFES on social media platforms and checking the Rural Fire Service website.
"We will continue to target bushfire-prone locations, prioritise areas to conduct mitigation activities and assist local communities."
More information on preparing for bushfire season can be found at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.