Council triple fuel reduction efforts for bushfire season

REDLAND City Council is doing hazard reduction burns on three times more land than last year in a bid to reduce fuel loads.

A council spokesperson said 34 areas, covering 175 hectares, on the mainland and islands had been included in this year’s planned burn schedule.

The spokesperson said 14 burns – nine on the mainland and five on Russell Island – had been done.

“The burn schedule will continue over coming months, particularly during August on the mainland and North Stradbroke Island, subject to weather conditions,” the spokesperson said.

“The planned burns represents the largest area in recent history, with most completed this past month following weather delays.”

The spokesperson said five sites on Russell Island, including Whistling Kite, Fern Terrace, Turtle Swamp and Jupiter Street were included in the schedule.

MAP: Fern Terrace Bushland Refuge burn area. Photo: Redland City Council

MAP: Fern Terrace Bushland Refuge burn area. Photo: Redland City Council

Those burns would continue until later on Friday (August 3) and were in addition to fire trail maintenance in and around public reserves.

Russell Island man Chris Le Roy said he was delighted Fern Terrace Conservation Area had been targeted on Wednesday by council, with help from Rural Fire Service firefighters.

“Finally they are doing it and the Rural Fire Service is doing an awesome job keeping everyone’s home safe and minimising the smoke,” he said.

“(I am) really ecstatic with how they are doing this because my home borders the conservation area and there is very little smoke or issues which is great.”

Last year Queensland Fire and Emergency Services released a scathing report that warned of extremely high fire dangers on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands and parts of the mainland.

Rural Fire Service Superintendent Wayne Waltisbuhl said authorities were working to boost fire safety across the SMBIs, with further planning underway.

Kim Richards at a bushfire season launch at Macleay Island.

Kim Richards at a bushfire season launch at Macleay Island.

Last month the state government named Russell and North Stradbroke islands as two of 48 bushfire hot spots in Queensland.

The warning was given as dry weather threatened to bring an early start to bushfire season, which began this month.

Redlands MP Kim Richards has since urged residents to clear their homes of green rubbish and make bushfire plans.

“August 1 is the traditional start of the bushfire season in Queensland and is an important reminder to everyone to make sure they are ready if a bushfire strikes,” she said.

“All households should have a bushfire survival plan and make sure they remove flammable material, such as dry grass and leaf litter, from around the home.”

The council spokesperson said burns were done with help from groups like Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Logan and Brisbane city councils, the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation and Seqwater.