Generic bushfire.
Generic bushfire. John McCutcheon

Residents urged to prepare for bushfire season

THE Lockyer Valley is more at risk of being affected by bushfires than ever before with soil moisture levels at a record low.

Rural Fire Service West Moreton area director Paul Storrs said he expected the dry weather would cause the fire brigade to attend many fires throughout the region.

"We are the driest we've been in a very long time; it means fire behaviour is going to be more intense but also the likelihood of starting is more likely,” he said.

"In the last seven days we've had three separate fires started from machinery, so this season it will be a busy season, particularly for grass fires.”

Local fire brigades are in the final stages of the hazard reduction process, which resulted in backburning at Murphys Creek, Ma Ma Creek and West Egypt.

But Mr Storrs stressed locals need to be responsible for their own safety.

"Anyone who lives within a few kilometres of bush areas needs to prepare for their lives sake,” he said.

"Any house or any property that is within two or three km of bushland is at risk.”

Across the nation, July temperatures were in the top six hottest in terms of mean maximum temperatures, with Queensland experiencing the fourth hottest July on record.

To prepare for bushfire season landowners are urged to clean up their properties, as basic tidying could be the difference between life and death.

Mr Storrs said all homes needed to have a bushfire survival plan in play to prepare, act and survive.

"Bottom line is it's about saving their lives, so preparing around the house, preparing their families and having what we call is a bushfire survival plan so they know what to do in the case of a bushfire,” he said.

"Anyone who has bush within 100m of their house they are particularly at risk and needs to have taken action now.

Simple things like cleaning out gutters, mowing the laws and picking up all possible fuel is said to significantly reduce the risk of being caught up in a bushfire.

A bushfire plan, available on the Rural Fire Queensland website, lists different options for dealing with a bushfire, including whether to stay at home and fight the fire or relocate to safety.

- Meg Bolton


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