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Controlled burns now taking place on the Tablelands

A controlled burn last week at Granite Creek in Mareeba.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services are currently well into their Operation Cool Burn, which occurs annually throughout the cooler months of the year.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said QFES undertook Operation Cool Burn between April and August each year.

“Operation Cool Burn is about the protection of Queensland communities using various bushfire mitigation activities,” Mr Crawford said.

“These activities include fire break upgrades and maintenance, slashing, community education and hazard reduction burning.

“Hazard reduction burns are already underway in many areas of the state to reduce fuel loads and some Queenslanders may have noticed smoke in the air as a result.”

QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said QFES assisted and supported landholders to conduct burns were possible to take advantage of favourable weather conditions.

“We encourage private landholders to conduct mitigation activities on their own land and we will continue to provide advice and assistance to support them.

“Landholders interested in conducting a burn on their own land should remember to apply for a Permit to Light Fire, which is available at no cost through their local fire warden.

“Residents should ensure they equip themselves with their own tools such as an up-to-date Bushfire Survival Plan so they know what they will do if a bushfire threatens their area.”

Atherton Station Officer Paul Dilena says getting a permit to burn is as easy as popping into the station or going to the website ruralfire.qld.gov.au

“People can drop their application here into the station if they have any questions,” he said

“Before we can issue a permit we need to know what fire breaks they will have in place, how many people will be attending and what equipment they have available.”

Once the application has been lodged, neighbours must then be notified of the impending burn and they then have three days to lodge a complaint about the fire being lit.

“After the three days we will then go and inspect the property to see that everything is in place,’ Mr Dilena said

“Some of the things that Fire Wardens look for before approving a burn off is ensuring that there are fire breaks in place, either bare earth around the fire site or very low green grass.

“We also don’t allow controlled burns when the wind is above 25 km/h.”

For more information please go to ruralfire.qld.gov.au.

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