Council teams will soon begin conducting hazard reduction burns across the city to help minimise the risk of unexpected bushfire events.

The hazard reduction burns are being completed in partnership with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, the Department of Defence and the Department of Resources.

Council’s plan is to undertake hazard reduction burns in the areas where there are high fuel (grass) loads which may result in significant impacts if a bushfire was to start later in the year. The first hazard reduction for the season planned at Jezzine Barracks on Thursday, May 2 (weather permitting), other areas where burns have been planned include Wulguru Ranges, Page Road Reserve, Upper Sleeper Log Creek Nature Reserve, Oak Valley Reserve, Castle Hill and Mt Louisa.

Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said Council conducted carefully planned hazard reduction burns every year to mitigate the risk of bushfires.

“Given the good summer rainfall during the 2022-23 Wet Season, there is a significant build-up of grass and other vegetation,” Cr Soars said.

Council contacts residents who are immediately adjacent to the areas being burnt prior to the burning operations and signage will be erected a few days prior in areas with high daily visitation – Castle Hill and Mt Louisa.

“Council’s burn plan is below but these dates are only indicative and are dependent on several factors such as unseasonal rain and fuel condition.  Council undertakes hazard reduction burns during the time of year when conditions favour cooler burns and the impact to the community is minimised.  Traffic signage/control will be in place in areas where smoke may impact,” Cr Soars said.  

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group Committee chairperson Jenny Hill said Council was now encouraging residents to do their part around their homes to help protect themselves and their neighbours against bushfires.

“All residents should prepare their properties accordingly in the event of an unexpected bushfire event. We need the community to do their part to help limit the chance of a bushfire starting and spreading,” Cr Hill said.

“It is as simple as clearing gutters and the roof of leaves, cleaning up around the house, mowing your yard regularly and reviewing and updating your Bushfire Survival Plan.”

Visit Council’s Fire Management page for more information.