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1 June, 2020

Smoke is in the air

The Mareeba Shire Council have already started their controlled burns for 2020.

By Phil Brandel

The summer of 2019/2020 was the worst on record for bushfires across the nation.

It was to become known colloquially as the Black Summer and began with several serious uncontrolled fires in June 2019.

One year later the fires had burnt an estimated 18.6 million hectares (46 million acres; 186,000 square kilometres) destroyed over 5,900 buildings (2,779 homes) including one home lost at Biboohra and at least 34 people were killed. An estimated one billion animals were killed, and some endangered species may have been driven to extinction.

The Mareeba Shire Council have already started their controlled burns for 2020 with controlled burns taking place last week in Chillagoe and Dimbulah.

The MSC announced that there will also be controlled burns in several locations around Mareeba over June at The Granite Creek Area, the Mareeba Industrial Park, Pioneer Cemetery and Wylandra Estate

MSC Mayor Angela Toppin says that controlled burns are needed to prepare hazard reduction.

"Fuel reduction burns form a major component of Council's fire management strategy and are programmed to occur at the earliest possible time after the wet season when vegetation is in a condition to be burnt," Mareeba Shire Mayor Angela Toppin said.

"Getting the burns done before the hot weather arrives is important to reduce risk.

"We encourage all landowners to begin their preparations as early as possible."

The fuel reduction burns were carried out in collaboration with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

"Between them, these two State Government departments have the ability to supply crew, vehicles and appliances," Cr Toppin said.

"It is dependent on current ground conditions whether the additional resources will be required, but the assistance and advice from the departments are invaluable to us."

"Likewise, Council also provides resources to assist, when required, to these entities," Cr Toppin said.

According to a council spokesperson “The planned hazard reduction burns will reduce the fuel loads and help to protect life and property during the wildfire season, and it is advisable to remove any clothing from clotheslines during this operation. The timing of the controlled burns is weather dependent.”

For more information on the proposed controlled burns phone 1300 308 461.



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