Following a summer that saw bushfires impact parts of South East Queensland, the region is entering another planned burn season in an ongoing effort to mitigate the risk and impact of any future wildfire events.
As part of Seqwater’s Fire Management Program, a number of prescribed burns of various sizes and locations are planned to take place across Seqwater land in South East Queensland during the next four to five months, subject to conditions.
Seqwater Water Source Services Manager, Robert Drury, said 20 of the planned burns have been nominated as high priority burn tasks.
“High priority burns are determined by the fire risk these areas pose to life, property and the environment,” Mr Drury said.
“We assess risk factors such as an area’s location, topography, fuel loads and the importance of Seqwater assets in the area to help determine an area’s priority level.”
Mr Drury said the bulk water authority worked closely with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Rural Fire Service brigades and other agencies to facilitate and implement the burn program on Seqwater-managed land.
“Wet conditions in late March and early April delayed the start to this year’s burn season, with only a few small burns carried out so far,” Mr Drury said.
“The good news is, the rain effectively ended the prolonged wildfire season, which saw bushfires break out across catchment areas in North Stradbroke Island and Wyaralong.”
As a State Government Statutory Authority and a large landholder in South East Queensland, Mr Drury said Seqwater has a responsibility to practically address fire management in the region’s dam catchments.
“Prescribed burns are an effective way of reducing fuel loads and mitigating bushfire risk to Seqwater-owned land and neighbouring properties,” Mr Drury said.
“Seqwater completed 27 burns across more than 1100 hectares of land in the 2018 burn season – nine of which were high-priority burns.
“Each burn we carry out means we are better prepared for the possible wildfire season.
“The safety of the community, attending fire-trained staff and the environment is of primary importance in planning prescribed burns.”
Seqwater carries out a range of pre-burn preparations to make sure the planned burn area is appropriately ready and meet objectives defined in the burn plan and under the QFES fire permit.
If the conditions are not suitable, the burn is postponed until a more favourable time — this may be the following or a subsequent burn season.
Seqwater’s planned burn season is expected to end in September subject to conditions. South East Queenslanders can access updated information about Seqwater’s planned burn schedule
by visiting Seqwater.com.au/water-supply/catchments/fire-management