Trail creates new southern Russell Island evacuation route


 Works have begun this week on hardening a trail along Lagoon Road, Russell Island to create an alternate evacuation route on the southern end of the island.

Redland City Mayor and Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group Karen Williams said the works to the existing fire trail would ensure it could be used as an evacuation route if needed.

“The works to the 300m trail, along Lagoon Road, will involve adding rocks and gravel to harden and widen it to 2.5m to improve accessibility,” Cr William said.

“It is not designed to be a new road, but once upgraded the trail can be opened to access by emergency agencies and resident evacuation should the need arise.

“The trail work, expected to be complete by early December, is the latest in our emergency planning on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands and will provide an added evacuation option, linking Rocky Point to Centre Road.

“This adds to our other 2019 fire preparedness efforts across the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, including clearing reduction zones, slashing blocks, controlled burns, community education campaigns and new signage.”

Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said the works, were a timely reminder for people to also take their own precautions.

“Council continues significant disaster preparation works, and to collaborate with other levels of government, to ensure we are ready of the storm and bushfire season ahead of us,” Cr Edwards said.

“As residents we all need to be part of that collaboration, and take household measures to ensure the safety of our loved ones and assets.

“It is important that all residents, but particularly islanders who have the added complexity of geographic isolation, take the time now to prepare their homes and set up an emergency kit and plan.

“Knowing evacuation routes in advance, such as the additional one we are creating now along Lagoon Rd, could make all the difference in an emergency situation.

“I encourage everyone to jump on to Council’s dedicated Disaster Dashboard disaster.redland.qld.gov.au for details on how to be prepared for what could be testing season ahead.”

Tips for helping to fireproof your property include:

  • keeping grass and undergrowth trimmed
  • raking up and reduce leaf litter and overgrown shrubs
  • removing branches overhanging buildings and leaf litter from roofs and gutters
  • storing fuels and chemicals away from dwellings
  • moving woodpiles away from buildings
  • preventing embers from entering a building by sealing gaps, vents and roof spaces
  • displaying house numbers clearly and provide access for fire trucks.

Recent fire mitigation work across the SMBI’s includes:

  • six prescribed burns completed on Russell Island 2019
  • six prescribed burns completed on Macleay Island in 2019
  • 300  (212313 m2) blocks slashed
  • 544  (122,794 m2) fuel reduction areas slashed
  • 23 (8km) new fire trails constructed on Russell Island
  • Design work underway to consider forming Glendale Rd from Rocky Point to Sandy Beach
  • Consideration of a secondary evacuation route north of Sandy Beach Rd
  • Fire Danger Rating signs across each island
  • Emergency signage placed on SBMI and Coochiemudlo Islands
  • Fire preparedness information distributed at mainland ferry terminals
  • Posters and information flyers available at ferry terminals
  • Community Champions have been readied to provide fire preparedness information to the community at SMBI ferry terminals or operate Evacuation Centres if needed.