Firefighters target Gladstone's 'dangerous locations'
THE biggest fire preparation workshop for Gladstone took place yesterday where volunteers discussed prevention for the next bush fire season.
The Rural Fire Services (RFS) assistant commissioner Tom Dawson said the room was full of experienced volunteers who all committed their time to the community.
"I've enjoyed hearing them talk about (bush fire) issues and hearing the solutions," Mr Dawson said.
"The key issue was how to attract younger members. We've got a reasonably good balance, 50/50 of older volunteers and younger volunteers and we have active discussions between these parties."
There have been more than 200 vegetation fires in the Gladstone region in the last four months according to statistics from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES).
The assistant commissioner said the aim for the next bush fire season was to primarily prevent incidents from occurring.
"Dangerous locations ... wherever we've got large vegetation build ups, the high country," Mr Dawson said.
"We certainly area think of residents and infrastructure, we must be able to defend them and protect the community. They become our priorities."
Mr Dawson said the causes of many fires was due to climate conditions as well as individual actions.
"It's the climatic conditions, a long hot dry summer on back of a long hot dry summer last year and they're saying there'll be a repeat next year," he said.
"That's mother nature, that's the part we can't control; climatic conditions ... (and) inappropriate activity by people."
Burning off in the cooler months is the main prevention method according to the assistant commissioner who said they burnt the areas safely which also prepared and trained new volunteers for fighting bush fires.
Mr Dawson said there are 35,5000 volunteers in Queensland and 1860 volunteers in the Gladstone region but still needed more.
"You can be a volunteer and not fight fires and you can be a volunteer and fight fires," he said.
Mr Dawson said people could go to their local fire brigades and join from the age of 16-years-old.