Please note! This is an archived version of the previous North Burnett Regional Council website at July 2017. Some information is outdated and some functionality may not work correctly. Please visit the new North Burnett Regional Council website for the latest information.
North Burnett - Naturally Beautiful...
Beautiful Burnett River Biggenden Sunrise Burnett River from Mc Connell Lookout Cania Gorge Eidsvold Mingo Crossing Mount Perry Mt Perry Gold Mine Mundubbera to Gayndah and Gooroolba Mundubbera Paradise Dam

Bush Fires

BUSH FIRES
 

 

As the North Burnett is predominantly an agricultural region, we are constantly faced with the threat of bush fires, especially during prolonged dry spells. These can be caused by lighting strikes, "burning off", or by sparks from equipment such as welders.

Bushfires can become a major disaster. Please remember to put preventative measures in place and always phone your area Fire Warden to obtain a Fire Permit before any burning occurs on your property.

FIRES IN THE HOME OR WORKPLACE

House fires always pose a risk, especially from faulty electrical equipment or following power surges. And, as our homes become more reliant on many different electrical gadgets, the chance of house fires escalates.

Fire prevention and evacuation plans are essential for the safety of all households. We encourage you to take the following steps:

  • install smoke detectors and check their batteries every 6 months (or less)
  • turn electrical equipment off at the wall rather than leaving them on standby
  • make an evacuation plan and practice it with all members of your household - it may be the difference between life and death

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BUSHFIRES

Whether you live in town or in a rural area, it is essential you have considered what you and your family would do if a bushfire was to threaten your home.  During a bushfire you and your family's survival and safety depend on your preparations, and the decisions you make.

Whether your plan is to leave early or stay, you must prepare your home and property to increase their level of resilience and your chances of survival.

The Fire Danger Rating (FDR) is an early indicator of potential danger and should act as your first trigger for action. The higher the rating the greater the need for you to act.  The FDR is an assessment of the potential fire behaviour, the difficulty of suppressing a fire, and the potential impact on the community should a bushfire occur on a given day.  A Fire Danger Index (FDI) of 'low-moderate' means that fire will burn slowly and that it will be easily controlled, whereas a FDI in excess of 'catastrophic 100+' means that fire will burn so fast and so hot that it will be uncontrollable.

Please Note:  The below information is a general guide.  For a more comprehensive guide of what to do to prepare,  act and survive refer to www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREPARE BEFORE BUSHFIRE SEASON?

Prepare your home

  • Ensure your house number is clearly displayed (for emergency service crews);
  • Mow your lawn regularly;
  • Remove excess combustible material (e.g. dry grass, dead leaves and branches) from your yard;
  • Move any flammable items such as wood piles, paper, boxes, crates and garden furniture well away from the house;
  • Trim low-lying branches (those under 2m in height);
  • Keep gutters clear of leaf litter;
  • Buy and test gutter plugs;
  • Enclose open areas under decks and verandahs;
  • Install fine steel wire mesh screens on all windows and doors;
  • Make sure any LPG cylinders are upright and relief valves are pointed away from the house;
  • Check that pumps, generators and water systems are working;
  • Replace any damaged roofing and seal any gaps;
  • Check that your Household Emergency Plan (Fact Sheet 1) and Evacuation Kit (Fact Sheet 2) are up to date.

PERMIT TO LIGHT FIRE

If you live in a rural area and wish to undertake a fuel reduction burn before the bushfire season you must first obtain a Permit to Light Fire.

An application for a 'Permit to Light Fire' is made through your local fire warden. Following receipt of your application the fire warden may impose conditions on a permit to reduce unwanted risk or nuisance to other people, property or to the environment. The fire warden may refuse to issue a permit if they believe that appropriate safety measures cannot be reasonably achieved.

To apply for a permit you must:

  1. Complete both sides of the Permit to Light Fire application form (available from your warden or the below link)
  2. Contact the owners/occupiers of the land adjoining the property where you wish to light a fire and advise them of your intention to apply for a permit. You need to allow them 72 hours in which to contact the Fire Warden and raise any concerns regarding the intended fire. Record the time you contact them on the Application form and also note if they have or have not objected. If the neighbours do have an objection, they should contact the local Fire Warden. If you cannot contact the owners/ occupiers, note this in the application form.
  3. Contact your local Fire Warden to submit your Application.

For more information on Permit to Light Fire visit the Rural Fire Service Queensland website or call your local warden.

Council Controlled

If you wish to 'burn off' along a Council Road Reserve or any other Council Controlled Reserve you must:

  1. Complete and submit an 'Application for Approval to Burn a Rural Road Reserve or Other Council Controlled Reserve' to North Burnett Regional Council.  See this page for further information.
  2. If granted, a Letter of Approval will be issued to the Applicant. This Letter of Approval must then accompany your Application for Permit to Light Fire as per the above.  This letter must accompany your permit at all times.

For more information or to obtain an application form please contact Council's Environmental Department on 1300 696 272.

State Controlled

If you wish to 'burn off' along a State Controlled Road Reserve you must:

  1. Contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads on (07) 4154 0200.
  2. Provide the Department with:

     Landholders name and address
     Property address and lot on plan details
     The name of the adjoining road
     Approximate dates to burn
     The name of your Fire Warden

The Department will complete a Permit to Burn over the phone.  They will provide your warden and yourself with a Permit which outlines the conditions.  This must be done prior to applying for your Permit to Light Fire with your warden.  A copy of the DTMR permit should be kept with your Permit to Light Fire at all times.

Who is my Fire Warden?

If you do not know who your Local Fire Warden is you can use the online Fire Warden Finder.  Simply enter your address and click on the map to display the contact number of the Warden responsible for that area.  Alternatively you can call 4152 3244 for more information.

HOW DO YOU KEEP UP TO DATE WITH WARNINGS?

  • The Bureau of Meteorology issues Fire Weather Warnings when the Fire Danger Index (FDI) is expected to reach or exceed a value of 50 either today or the next day. 
  • Warnings are broadcast on radio and television. The Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) is used when bushfire threatens life (Fact Sheet 5).
  • Emergency Alert - is the national telephone warning system used by emergency services to send voice messages to landlines and text messages to mobile phones within a defined area, about likely or actual emergencies.  For more information on Emergency Alert visit   http://www.emergencyalert.gov.au/.

These messages are delivered through local TV and radio. However, you should not expect that detailed information to be available every time there is a bushfire.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WHEN A BUSHFIRE APPROACHES/STRIKES??

Leave early

If you plan to leave early then you must leave your home well before a bushfire threatens and travelling by road becomes hazardous. Your leave early preparations include:

Step 1: Preparation - your property should be well prepared for bushfire even if you intend to leave early.

Step 2: What you will do - make your Bushfire Survival Plan in accordance with your decision to
leave early.

Step 3: Make a contingency plan - the FDI, the preparedness of your home, a change in household circumstances, a change in your physical preparedness or unexpected visitors are some things that may require you to reconsider your Bushfire Survival Plan.

Consider leaving a note advising you have evacuated.  Emergency services will then know you are safe and accounted for.  If you leave your pets behind include their name and details on the note.

Remember - Leaving late can be a deadly option.

Always avoid travelling in areas where bushfires are burning.  If you get caught in the path of a bushfire turn around and drive to safety - don't attempt to drive through.

Planning to stay

Planning is critical to successfully staying with your home.  Staying with your home may involve the risk of psychological trauma, injury or death.

Step 1: Preparation - your property must be able to withstand the impact of bushfire and well prepared to shelter you and your family.

Step 2: What you will do - make your Bushfire Survival Plan in accordance with your decision to
stay.

Step 3: Make a contingency plan - the FDI, the preparedness of your home, a change in household circumstances, a change in your physical preparedness or unexpected visitors are some things that may require you to reconsider your Bushfire Survival Plan.

In making your decision to stay, here are a few things you need to consider.

  • Is your property able to withstand the impact of a bushfire?
  • Are you physically and emotionally prepared to stay with your property?
  • Do you have well-maintained resources and equipment and do you know how to use them?
  • Do you have appropriate protective clothing?
  • Will your bushfire survival plan need to be different for weekdays, weekends or if someone is sick at home?
  • Do you have a contingency plan?

When a fire front is approaching

  • Block drain pipes with gutter plugs and fill gutters with water;
  • Remove outdoor furniture, door mats and other items;
  • Move your car to a safe location;
  • Hose down verandahs and vegetation near the house;
  • Turn on sprinklers in the garden;
  • Take down curtains and move furniture away from windows;
  • Fill containers with water, including the bath, sinks, buckets and wheelie bins;
  • Soak towels and place under external doors;
  • Have ladders ready for roof access (inside and outside);
  • Have a generator and pump ready;
  • Prepare livestock and pets;
  • Stay close to the house;
  • Drink plenty of water;
  • Patrol your home for spot fires and extinguish them.

When the fire front arrives

If you decide to stay and defend your home, you should:

  • Take fire-fighting equipment such as hoses and pumps inside (to stop them melting);
  • Patrol the inside of your home, including the ceiling space for embers or small fires;
  • Shelter inside your home on the opposite side of the approaching fire;
  • Maintain a means of escape;
  • Continually monitor conditions;
  • Drink lots of water and regularly check on family and pets.

Contingency Plan

Even if your choice is to stay, you must still have a contingency plan as a part of your Bushfire Survival Plan. A change in household circumstances (i.e. someone home alone or unexpected visitors), a fire danger rating of extreme or catastrophic and the current preparedness of your home are all reasons for you to reconsider your Bushfire Survival Plan. You should identify a safer location (i.e. a neighbour's home) or a Neighbourhood Safer Place and consider if you should leave early well before bushfire threatens.  For more information if you choose to stay please refer to and complete the Bushfire Survival Plan. 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO AFTER THE FIRE PASSES?

  • Once it is safe to go outside, check for spot fires or embers

 Inside the roof space
 Under the floorboards
 Under the house
 On verandahs and decks
 On window ledges and door sills
 In roof lines and gutters
 In garden beds or mulch
 In sheds or carports
 In woodpiles
 On outdoor furniture

  • Stay at home until the surrounding area is clear of fire;
  • Continue to drink lots of water and listen to your local radio station for updates;
  • Monitor media outlets for updates.

BUSHFIRE SURVIVAL PLAN

Your bushfire survival plan details how you'll prepare and what action you will take if threatened by a bushfire.  Your plan must be written down and practised regularly and should take into consideration the ages and physical capabilities of everyone in your household including children and elderly residents. Your plan needs to take into account what you will do based on the Fire Danger Rating.
For more information on completing your Bushfire Survival Plan visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au and follow the Bushfire Survival Plan - PREPARE.ACT.SURVIVE. links.