Council to conduct first bushfire mitigation burn of the season
Date published: 11 June 2021
Townsville City Council, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service will conduct their first bushfire hazard reduction burn of the year on Magnetic Island on Tuesday (June 15).
Magnetic Island is one of a number of controlled burns planned in the coming weeks as the three organisations work to reduce the risk of bushfires during the hot and dry months later in the year.
Council Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said conducting annual hazard reduction burns were vital in reducing the likelihood of serious bushfires throughout the region.
“We had a decent wet season in the region which encouraged plenty of vegetation growth,” Cr Soars said.
“During the drier months, this vegetation dries out and by the time temperatures start to rise again it will become ideal fuel for fire.
“That’s why Council works with its partners to undertake controlled burns from June to August. These burns will reduce the risk of bushfires before the next wet season begins.”
Tuesday’s Magnetic Island burn will focus on around 2 hectares of land near Council’s water treatment plant and waste transfer station.
Council will then conduct a burn on Castle Hill on Sunday (June 20), weather permitting. Castle Hill Road and some walking tracks will be closed while these burns are completed.
These tracks include:
- Erythrina Track (including all tracks into Erythrina Track accessed from Balmoral Place)
- Sloane Street Track
- West Ridge Track
- Iron Bark Track
- Castle Hill Road
The Goat Track and Cudtheringa Track will remain open to walkers.
A second, larger burn will take place on Castle Hill later this year which will require the closure of all tracks.
“We ask that residents take care and follow directions from these services to ensure everybody’s safety,” Cr Soars said.
Rural Fire Service Regional Manager Tony Hazell said hazard reduction burns were one of the most effective ways to minimise the risk of bushfires.
“Recent rain has boosted fuel loads in parts of Townsville, which if left unattended would result in an increased fire risk for residents,” Mr Hazell said.
“QFES is working closely with Townsville City Council to conduct controlled burns in priority areas, but with bushfire season just around the corner for North Queensland, residents also need to consider how they can prepare themselves and their properties.
“Simple tasks such as mowing, slashing, and the installation of firebreaks can all help to mitigate the risk and potentially protect properties from disaster.
“Controlled burns are also an effective tool, however landholders wishing to burn fires greater than two metres in any direction must first obtain a permit from their local Fire Warden.”
Permits are free and information on how to contact your local Fire Warden is available at ruralfire.qld.gov.au.
Residents with medical conditions that may be affected by smoke from grass fires are encouraged to take precautions in case smoky conditions affect them during this time.
A full list of Council’s scheduled hazard reduction burns can be found at our Works and Road Closures page. www.townsville.qld.gov.au/building-planning-and-projects/works-and-road-closures.