Bushfire season in our Region is generally between July and November; however, this can change due to hotter and drier than normal seasons.
A bushfire is a fire that burns in grass, bushland or woodlands which threatens life, property and the environment. Bushfires are fuelled by leaf litter, trees and other vegetation. This vegetation provides a path ladder for fire to travel up, taking the fire from the ground high into the tree tops.
Bushfires are unpredictable in nature and can turn at any time, depending on the wind conditions. That is why it is important to have a thorough understanding of bushfires within our Region. All residents should discuss what they would do in a bushfire situation with their family.
Bushfire Management Strategy
A coordinated approach to bushfire management is vital. Understanding the risk bushfire poses in our Region so that best practice future planning and mitigation efforts are put in place to reduce the risk of bushfire impacts is vital to potentially preventing loss to life and property.
The purpose of the Bushfire Management Strategy is to provide a regional and strategic assessment of bushfire risk, identify priority areas of risk and outline coordinated, proactive and cost effective processes in the management and prevention of this risk.
Read Council's Bushfire Management Strategy(PDF, 4MB).
National Bushfire Warning System
A National Bushfire Warning System has been implemented that contains a new fire danger rating. 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.
Fire Danger Ratings are published by the Bureau of Meteorology. You can also check the Fire Danger Rating for your area from Rural Fire Service Queensland .
Using fire outdoors
The Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 makes it illegal to light a fire without a 'Permit to Light Fire' issued by a fire warden. Under nuisance provisions of the Local Government Act 2009 a local government may also have in place a local law restricting or prohibiting the lighting of a fire in part or all of the local government area.
Under Local Law 3 – Community and Environmental Management, Council prohibits any fire in a public place that is not in a fireplace, barbecue or incinerator constructed by Council in the Rockhampton Region.
Property owners in rural areas who wish to burn off in a Council controlled road reserve, please complete the Controlled Burn Application Form on the Customer Forms page.
For those roads that are controlled by the Department of Transport and Main Roads please contact the Rockhampton Transport and Main Roads office on (07) 4931 1500.
The Rural Fire Service Queensland - Using Fire Outdoors website will help you understand the Fire Warden and Permit to Light Fire System, the process you need to follow for lighting a fire outdoors and your responsibilities.
For information relating to seasonal burning off and associated smoke hazard in our area, contact Queensland Fire and Emergency Services .
Always be prepared for a potential bushfire and keep your property clean and clear. If you live near bushland or national park area, know the requirements for fire breaks and how to keep your property clean. Certain areas within our Region are not covered by urban fire trucks and are covered by Rural Fire Service Brigades so it is important that you take the necessary precautions to prepare your family and property.
As a property owner you will need to identify whether you will evacuate your property or stay and fight when a bushfire is imminent. No matter what you decide, it’s important that you are prepared.
You can take steps to prepare your property by:
- removing, cutting or mowing bushes, grass and weeds around sheds, fences and gates,
- clearing overhanging branches from the roof; cleaning gutters and buying gutter plugs,
- establishing a clear buffer zone around your house and other buildings, and
- keeping hoses at the ready; and if you have a water system, pump or generator, check they are working.
The following resources are available to help residents be prepared for bushfire season: