Rockhampton residents are being encouraged to finalise their preparations ahead of an expected early start to bushfire season.

Rural Fire Service (RFS) Regional Manager Brian Smith said people should be doing what they could now, before bushfire season starts. 

“The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (BNHCRC) has flagged an earlier start and a longer season that could bring an increased bushfire potential to some parts of central Queensland,” Mr Smith said.

“While the data is not suggesting a season like last year, it does reinforce the importance of people making the most of their time before the season starts to prepare. 

“Even if people have made a start by tidying their properties and cleaning debris around homes, there is more they can do to prepare.

“Completing a Bushfire Survival Plan will ensure they have identified risks and made a plan to keep their family safe and protect their assets.

“Another key step is to check their insurance is up-to-date with adequate cover.

“These preparation measures we all take now can make a difference down the track.”

RFS Area Director Wayne Kapernick encouraged large landholders and primary producers to contact their local brigade to discuss their bushfire preparation plans.

“Having a plan to protect your assets is one important step but people need to ensure they are prepared in case they are not home,” Mr Kapernick said.

“This is where a conversation with their local brigade can help.

“The more information our brigades have, the better they can plan for bushfires and respond during an emergency.”

Mr Kapernick also issued a reminder for primary producers and larger landholders to establish fire breaks if they had not already.

“Quality breaks protect assets and help our crews get around properties during an emergency,” he said.

“Primary producers and landholders should use fire breaks to help protect assets, including sheds, farm infrastructure, pasture for their livestock, and anything else of value.”

Visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au for more bushfire safety information.