Woodgate hazard reduction burns provide town security

hazard reduction burn Woodgate
Bundaberg Area Director Bruce Thompson said the hazard reduction burns would reduce the fire risk and provide security to Woodgate for the next few years. Photo: Queensland Rural Fire Service crew member at the 2019 Woodgate fires.

Hazard reduction burns will be conducted in the Woodgate area from as early as next week to help provide security to the town before the up-coming fire season.

Bundaberg Area Director Bruce Thompson said the hazard reduction burns would reduce the fire risk and provide security to Woodgate for the next few years.

The Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy will use contractors to conduct the hazard reduction burn operation, that may continue through to September depending on weather conditions.

The hazard reduction burns area is approximately 11.5Ha and is located adjacent to Frizells Road, Woodgate.

It is advised Woodgate residents should keep doors and windows closed to prevent smoke entering homes and to also reduce outdoor activities if smoke levels are high.

When driving people should remain on alert for smoke hazards and fire fighters working alongside the roadways, by slowing down, keeping windows up and by turning on their headlights.

Bruce said smoke from the hazard reduction burns may be seen from Bundaberg and it was important for the community to be aware of this, but if they were in doubt of where the smoke was coming from to call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

“An early call means an early response,” Bruce said.

“There will be smoke in the area from next week, and the community is to be mindful of that, but it remains important to call Triple Zero (000) if they see anything alarming.”

Ideal time for Operation Cool Burn and hazard reduction burns

Bruce said with the start of the cooler weather it was the perfect time for residents in the Bundaberg Region to look at their property and reduce the risk of fire in preparation for this year’s fire season.

“Now is the ideal time to prepare properties as the cooler conditions help,” he said.

“Look around to make sure rural fire fighting trucks can get in.

“Have a bushfire survival plan in place, look at the risks and remove them while there is that window of opportunity to get things in place while the conditions are manageable.”

Simple ways to ensure your property is in order include regularly mowing your lawn, trimming low hanging branches, cleaning gutters and removing any flammable material from around your house.

There are also extra measures rural landowners can undertake, including creating and maintaining firebreaks, ensuring personal firefighting equipment is in working order and conducting hazard reduction burns. 

Bruce said residents were responsible for managing the fuel loads on their properties so, for some, conducting hazard reduction burns was essential.

He said local fire officers were always happy to assist and were only a phone call away.

For more information on how to prepare your property, obtain a Permit to Light Fire or find your local fire warden, click here.

  • Earlier reports: Firefighters claim victory over 2019 Woodgate blaze