North Queensland residents looking to take advantage of ideal weather conditions are being urged to obtain a permit before lighting up. 

Rural Fire Service (RFS) Regional Manager Tony Hazell said whilst hazard reduction burns were an important part of preparing many North Queensland properties for bushfire season, it was essential landholders obtained the proper paperwork first. 

“In Queensland, subject to some exceptions, all fires greater than two metres in any direction require a Permit to Light Fire,” Mr Hazell said.

“A permit will detail when the burn can take place to ensure it is conducted under the right conditions. 

“We want residents to prepare their properties for bushfire season, and for many North Queenslanders this involves hazard reduction burns, but it is vital these fires are lit and managed safely.” 

Mr Hazell said the application process could be completed online, allowing residents to adhere to current social distancing requirements.  

“Permits are free, easy to apply for and are made through your local Fire Warden,” he said.

“To apply, download and complete the application available from the RFS website.

“Contact your neighbours to let them know about your intention to apply and call your local council before submitting your application to check if there are any by-laws that may affect your ability to burn. 

“Your application will then be assessed by your local Fire Warden, who is a knowledge hub about local conditions and how to manage fuel loads safely.”

Mr Hazell said hazard reduction burns were just one tool available to landholders looking to prepare for the upcoming season. 

“In addition to hazard reduction burns, landholders can also construct fire breaks, relocate flammable materials away from the home, and clear leaves, bark and other debris from gutters,” he said.

“We all have a role to play in preparing for bushfire season.”

Landholders can find their local Fire Warden by using the Fire Warden Finder tool on the RFS website or by contacting the Townsville Office on (07) 4796 9082.

For more information on the Permit to Light Fire system and how to prepare for bushfire season, visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.