WITH Queensland having experienced an already horrific fire season, Acting Inspector of the Fire and Rescue’s Western Command Darryl Chaplain is urging residents to be vigilant in their preparations as conditions are expected to worsen.
One such issue firefighters continue to encounter are unprepared properties, with obstructions to access such as overhanging vegetation and narrow gates making it difficult for first responders to enter properties and therefore effectively contain blazes.
“We noticed it in September when we had a number of fires in the region as we struggled to gain access to properties, particularly with the bigger tankers,” Acting Inspector Darryl Chaplain said.
“And with the high to severe fire conditions that are currently threatening the Tablelands, it is imperative that our big tankers have access to help best manage any fire dangers.
“There is no rain forecast at this stage, so we’re expecting the conditions to get worse as the height of summer approaches.
“We have responded to some fires in the Tolga and Rocky Creek area that had the potential to become significant dangers; however we were able to contain them.”
Acting Inspector Chaplain said residents must take heed of all fire warnings and remain updated on conditions across the region.
Below are some ways you can prepare your property for a potential fire threat:
• Clear leaves, twigs, bark and other debris from the roof and gutters
• Purchase and test the effectiveness of gutter plugs
• Enclose open areas under decks and floors
• Install fine steel wire mesh screens on all windows, doors, vents and weep holes
• Point LPG cylinder relief valves away from the house
• Conduct maintenance checks on pumps, generators and water systems
• Seal all gaps in external roof and wall cladding
• Display a prominent house or lot number in case it is required in an emergency
• Ensure there is adequate access to your property for fire trucks which is four metres wide by four metres high, with a turnaround area
• Reduce vegetation along the access path
• Mow your grass regularly
• Remove excess flammable material like long dry grass, dead leaves and branches
• Trim low-lying to a height of two metres from the ground surrounding your home