Rural fire service talks continue amid "devastating" fire season

BACKBURNING: A mainland rural fire brigade for the Redlands could help residents understand how to measure and mitigate their fuel load, says Cr Julie Talty.
BACKBURNING: A mainland rural fire brigade for the Redlands could help residents understand how to measure and mitigate their fuel load, says Cr Julie Talty.

CALLS are continuing for a mainland rural fire brigade in the Redlands during what Prime Minister Scott Morrison described as a devastating fire season for Australia.

Parts of Queensland, including the Scenic Rim, were impacted by fires last year while southern states were hit badly around Christmas and New Year, with some regions still battling blazes.

A steering committee was established in October last year to spearhead the campaign for a mainland rural fire brigade, and community talks were set to be held in February.

Cr Julie Talty saidan application had been made to the commissioner of Queensland Fire and Emergency Service requesting a brigade number be issued.

"At the moment we've got three urban brigades (at Cleveland, Redland Bay and Capalaba). We have an excellent staff of officers who are looking after our urban brigade needs," she said.

"There's a lot of misunderstanding and a lack of understanding in the community as to how to access (fire advice), what other tools are available, what their responsibilities are and how to measure and reduce their fuel loads.

"We need to be able to provide easy-to-understand interpretation of all of the overlapping regulation that makes it so scary and difficult for land owners to be able to reduce their risk.

"Getting a rural fire service will be one of those tools that will be very helpful for them."

Redlands MP Kim Richards said nearby RFS brigades from Chambers Flat, Rocky Point, Ormeau and Logan Village could respond in theRedlands area if required.

Redlands LNP candidate Henry Pike said the bushfires raging in the southern states were a sobering reminder of the devastation possible in bad fire conditions.

"A volunteer unit with a specific mandate to proactively reduce the fuel loads and mitigate the fire risk in our bush areas would be a worthwhile complement to our urban firies," he said.

"This isn't just about Redlanders living in rural blocks. If a catastrophic fire took hold in the Mount Cotton area it could threaten homes in Redland Bay or Victoria Point in a matter of hours.

"Redland Bay in particular, with one lane roads in and out, could be the scene of a nightmare scenario if the recent Gippsland/South Coast NSW conditions were replicated in our region."

A spokesperson for QFES acknowledged community concerns about bushfire mitigation in the Redlands area and said QFES worked closely with residents on community education and bushfire mitigation.

Some bushland areas in the southern Redlands, including parts of Mount Cotton, Redland Bay and Sheldon, have very high potential bushfire intensity, according to the city plan.