Council Prepares For Hazard Reduction Burns

With the region’s extended wet season coming to an end, Townsville City Council will be conducting the first of its hazard reduction burns of the year later this week.

The controlled burn, on Mount Stuart, will be undertaken from Friday 12 April (weather permitting) and is expected to take two days to complete.

A Council spokesperson said Council conducted carefully planned hazard reduction burns every year to mitigate the risk of bushfires.

“With Townsville receiving consistent summer rainfall during the 2023-24 wet season, there is a build-up of vegetation around the region,” they said.

“It’s important our crews are able to get to these heavily vegetated areas before they dry out completely as the year progresses, making them fuel for bushfires.”

The spokesperson said the first official burn of the year would be undertaken on Mount Stuart in collaboration with the Department of Defence and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and was a great opportunity for Council staff to work with other agencies.

“The burn aims to clear around 50 hectares of vegetation and is also an opportunity to share knowledge and learn from everyone involved, as we are partnering with the Department of Defence and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services,” they said.

“The burn will take two days to complete, with Mount Stuart Road being closed to vehicles and pedestrians for the duration of April 12 and 13.

“Council will be undertaking a number of hazard reduction burns in the coming months and we thank the community for their patience while they are taking place.”

Colonel Matthew Cuttell, Director Operations and Training Area Management at the Department of Defence, said it is important to partner with Townsville City Council to contribute to the safety of all Townsville residents.

“The joint planning and execution of hazard reduction burns furthers the already positive and collaborative relationship within the Garrison city,” Colonel Cuttell said.

Manager of Bushfire Mitigation Michael Thomson said the Rural Fire Service (RFS) works year-round with partner agencies to ensure local communities are prepared and protected for the upcoming bushfire season.

“While this burn marks the first of the season around Townsville, there are a lot of things landowners can do themselves to decrease their fire risk such as clearing vegetation, trimming trees, mowing regularly and removing dead leaves and branches,” Mr Thomson said.

“Landholders interested in conducting a burn on their own property will need to obtain a Permit to Light Fire for burns greater than 2 metres, speak with your local Fire Warden or head to the QFES website for advice around any permit conditions you need to be aware of.”

Council’s burn plan can be found at the link below; however, dates are only indicative and are dependent on several factors such as unseasonal rain and fuel condition.

Council undertakes hazard reduction burns during the time of year when conditions favour cooler burns and the impact to the community is minimised. Traffic signage/control will be in place in areas where smoke may impact.

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