Despite fire bans being lifted across South East Queensland, the situation remains a concern with Seqwater taking precautions to minimise the threat of wildfires.

The ban was lifted after a weekend of heavy rainfall across the region in early October.

But Seqwater, which owns large tracts of land, is still reminding South East Queenslanders not to become complacent about the risk of fire. 

Seqwater’s preparation for the summer planned burn season began in the cooler months, with 22 prescribed burns carried out by Seqwater since autumn, many of which were targeted mitigation burns designed to protect key infrastructure including neighbouring properties . 

Seqwater Catchment Services Manager Robert Drury said the authority completed prescribed burns across 534 hectares of land around Hinze, Wyaralong, Tingalpa,  Kholo, Mt Crosby, Manchester, Wivenhoe, Samsonvale, Bribie and North Stradbroke Island.

“As a large land holder in South East Queensland, Seqwater undertakes prescribed burns to reduce fuel loads and mitigate bushfire risk to our land and neighbouring properties, but also to enhance bio-diversity and water quality in our drinking water storages” Mr Drury said.

“A wet winter and dry spring meant the operational window for conducting planned burns closed  quickly.

“Even though we weren’t able to progress as many burns as we had hoped, each burn we did carry out means we are better prepared for the wildfire season.

“The safety of the community, attending staff and the environment is of primary importance in planning controlled burns, if the conditions are not suitable, the burn is postponed until a more favourable time,” Mr Drury said. 

“There are a number of environmental and climatic  conditions that favour the recommended guidelines  for prescribed burns, we look for low winds, mild temperatures and favourable relative humidity and soil moisture to name a few.

“The program of targeted planned burns across the region ranges from small, asset protection zone burns to large biodiversity burns that cover hundreds of hectares of land,” Mr Drury said.

Seqwater’s Fire Management team has now shifted their focus to preparing for what is forecast to possibly be a very dry summer along with other agencies including Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES).

“We have a number of fire response vehicles and trained personnel ready to support QFES in response to wildfires on Seqwater land and around our lakes, parks and treatment plants,” Mr Drury said.

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