Bushfire season officially under way

Woodgate bushfire
A scene from the Woodgate bushfire earlier this year. The 2019-20 bushfire season is now under way. Photo: Woodgate Rural Fire Brigade.

Queensland’s bushfire season officially starts today, 1 August, and Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey says everyone should be alert.

“It's been very dry in the Bundaberg Region and fire conditions could quickly worsen in hot and windy weather,” he said.

“I'd like to thank all the volunteers who help to keep our community safe.”

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.”

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said QFES had been preparing since April.

“QFES has completed or helped with dozens of mitigation activities, including hazard reduction burns, community education and fire breaks,” he said.

“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.

“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.”