With so much down time at home, now is the perfect time to prepare your property for bushfire season. 

Rural Fire Service (RFS) Regional Manager Alan Gillespie urged south east Queensland residents to do their part to prepare the community for the season ahead. 

“Bushfire season will be upon us before we know it so it’s important we act now,” Mr Gillespie said. 

“There are many simple ways to ensure your property is in order - regularly mow your lawn, trim low hanging branches, clean gutters and remove any flammable material from around your house.

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

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

“If the burn exceeds two meters squared in size, you must obtain a Permit to Light Fire” he said.

“Permits are free, easy to apply for and are important to ensure your burn is conducted safely.

“Permits are issued by a local fire warden who is knowledgeable about local requirements, current weather conditions and how to manage fuel loads safely.

“It is essential the RFS is aware of your planned burn to ensure crews aren’t responding to a controlled burn as if it’s an emergency.

“Hefty fines may apply so it’s important residents meet all conditions of the permit, including notifications specified in the permit.”

Mr Gillespie said if a backyard fire is smaller than two metres squared then it did not require a permit, but must still be conducted safely. 

“If you’re thinking of a backyard fire, especially in urban areas, don’t be a stranger to your neighbours and notify those living around you,” he said.

“Please also check with your local council beforehand as some fires may breach smoke nuisance by-laws. 

“If you are a neighbour and concerned about backyard burns being conducted near your property, complaints about smoke should be taken up with your local council, however, if the situation becomes dangerous please call Triple Zero (000) immediately.”

If you have any questions about burning or need advice on other ways to reduce property hazards, your local fire warden is available to help.  

For more information on how to prepare your property, obtain a Permit to Light Fire or find your local fire warden, visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.