Darling Downs revealed as one of state’s top bushfire hotspots

Parts of south-west Queensland have been identified as some of the state’s worst spots for bushfires, as tinder dry conditions continue.

The Darling Downs was the second most bushfire prone area in the state last season, attending more than 340 landscape fires.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Rural Fire Service (RFS) Director Tony Johnstone said while bushfire season didn’t traditionally begin until August, crews were already beginning to see fires spark up.

“We’re experiencing unfavourable fire conditions due to little rainfall and dry landscape across much of south-west Queensland,” Mr Johnstone said.

“Last year we experienced major bushfires in many parts of the region, including Wallangarra, Ballandean, Karara and in the Arcadia Valley area.

“Warwick and Stanthorpe are particular areas of concern for us again this year due to tinder dry conditions.

“The risk is very real and I urge residents to make sure they are ready for bushfire season, as the window of opportunity for preparation is about to close.”

Mr Johnstone said there were many ways residents could prepare their property.

“Unfortunately, prime weather conditions for hazard reduction burns have now passed, so residents should prepare their properties in other ways,” he said.

“Residents should remove leaf litter, clear gutters, trim low-lying branches and mow lawns regularly.

“Further preparations include putting in fire breaks, moving flammable items away from homes and sheds, and checking any firefighting equipment is in working order.

“These may seem like simple tasks but they all go a long way to help curb bushfire threat and help protect property, assets and life.”

Mr Johnstone said residents should also have an up-to-date Bushfire Survival Plan.

“Review your Bushfire Survival Plan and ensure everyone in the household knows what to do in case of emergency,” he said.

“Residents should also check their first aid kid is stocked and that they have protective clothing on hand.

“Preparation is the key to survival.”

For more information on bushfire preparedness visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.

/Public Release. View in full here.