Raised fire alert level a call to action for Southern Moreton Bay Island residents

Redland City Council is calling on residents of Russell, Macleay, Lamb and Karragarra Islands to help ‘spring clean’ their properties, with the region’s fire alert level raised to 2 on Tuesday.

The increase in the fire alert level to 2 means temperatures are increasing, humidity is decreasing, and fuel levels are drying out, which could increase the risk of wild fires should a fire break out.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council had brought forward its annual fire maintenance schedule on the SMBIs in response to the recently released Queensland Fire and Emergency Services report reviewing fire management in the Redlands.

“Council has carried out controlled burns and fire maintenance such as slashing on Russell Island in the past two weeks to help reduce fuel loads before this year’s fire season,” Cr Williams said.

“The recently released fire management review analysed how the risk of fire is managed on the and recommended Council and residents work together to make the community safer.”

Mayor Karen Williams said Council was encouraging residents to undertake maintenance of their properties to protect themselves in the lead up to bush fire season.

“Council is reducing fuel loads on all Council-owned land, but we need residents to help us by ‘spring cleaning’ their own properties and clearing them of fire hazards,” Cr Williams said.

“We’ve also been busy reviewing fire maintenance plans and access trails.

“Under Local Law 3, residents and landowners must clear overgrown allotments and unsightly accumulations of objects and materials, and fire hazards must be reduced or removed.

“Council is keen to help residents comply with the Local Laws.”

Division 5 Councillor, Mark Edwards said Council had taken a proactive approach to maintenance as recommended in the fire management review, and wants to work with residents in the lead-up to bushfire season to ensure their safety.

“The results of this review have reinforced our commitment to fire mitigation and preparation, including reducing illegal dumping and improving residents’ disaster preparedness,” Cr Edwards said.

“But we can’t do it alone. We need residents to help by cleaning up their properties and maintaining them on a regular basis.

“It’s also important to lend your neighbours a hand if you see they need help.”

Residents can dispose of their green waste at the island waste transfer stations. View the waste transfer station opening hours.

Residents can do many things to help themselves and their neighbours in the run-up to bushfire season.

Clear overgrown vegetation:

  • reduce vegetation loads along access paths
  • mow your grass regularly
  • remove excess ground fuels and combustible material (long dry grass, dead leaves and branches)
  • trim low-lying branches surrounding your home to two metres from the ground.

Maintain your house:

  • clear leaves, twigs, bark and other debris from the roof and gutters
  • buy and test gutter plugs so you can fill your gutters with water in event of a fire
  • enclose open areas under decks and floors
  • install fine steel wire mesh screens on all windows, doors, vents and weep holes
  • point LPG cylinder relief valves away from the house
  • do maintenance checks on pumps, generators and water systems
  • seal all gaps in external roof and wall cladding.

Provide access in event of a fire:

  • display your house or lot number prominently in case it is needed in an emergency
  • ensure there is adequate access to your property for fire trucks – four metres wide by four metres high, with a turn-around area.

Protect your personal safety:

  • check you have sufficient personal protective clothing and equipment
  • relocate flammable items away from your home, including woodpiles, paper, boxes, crates, hanging baskets and garden furniture
  • check the first aid kit is fully stocked
  • make sure you have appropriate insurance for your home and vehicles
  • review and update your household Bushfire Survival Plan.

Visit the Redlands Disaster Plan website for more information to help you prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster.