Be prepared to survive
PREPARE, act and survive is the message from the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service this bushfire season.
QFRS Sunshine Coast Zone Acting Superintendent Russell Thompson said residents on high-risk properties needed a bushfire survival plan and to know how to enact it.
"As part of their plan, they must know what to do if things turn bad, that they will be able to leave in time," he said.
Act Supt Thompson said residents in high-risk areas with no town water should have a fire pump if they decided to stay and defend their property.
"The current season is shaping up to be a fairly moderate fire season, given the rain we've had," he said.
"But unless we get rain between November and December, we'll be in for a hectic fire season."
QFRS has identified high- risk areas on the Coast, particularly in the hinterland areas, and distributed the Prepare Act Survive booklet.
Act Supt Thompson said the QFRS also developed Local Action Plans (LAPs) for Coast residents.
"If a fire breaks out, we have a pre-set plan and once we identify which properties are under threat, we can determine what level of response we need to protect those areas, in trucks and manpower," he said.
The Prepare Act Survive booklet has information for when a fire approaches and when the firefront arrives.
Long-term fire precautions include: reducing fuel by controlled landscaping; pruning lower branches; clearing overhanging trees and shrubs from around the house; enclosing all eaves; filling ends of corrugated roofing; fitting wire screens to doors, windows and roof vents; enclosing under-floor space and shifting woodpiles away from the house; installing taps at strategic places with long hoses; having a standby water pump; and ensuring LPG safety valves faced away from building.
The pre-summer checklist includes checking fire-fighting equipment (including standby pump); clearing fences of rubbish and undergrowth; checking all screens and roof vents; ensuring the roof is in good condition and gutters are clear of leaves and rubbish; seeing that the under-floor area is fully protected; and making sure your water tank has a 50mm camlock so firefighters can use water if needed.
The Prepare Act Survive booklet is available at http://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au. For advice, call the Caloundra Area Office on 5420 7517.