Gladstone properties at high risk of bushfire

GLADSTONE is feeling the heat after 46 grassfires in just eight weeks.

And residents have been warned to get their safety plans in place after 1542 Gladstone properties were deemed at risk of bushfires.

A special APN Newsdesk investigation found there were 46 grassfires between August 1 and September 30.

The highest number of grassfires for the period was in Ipswich with 225, Rockhampton with 184, Sunshine Coast with 167, Toowoomba with 82 and Bundaberg with 75.

Sophisticated mapping has found there are 327 Gladstone region properties at very high risk of bushfires and 1215 at high risk.

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has conducted nine burns over more than 3428 in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region.

One of Queensland's top fire officers said the region was a tinderbox with grass and other plants.

Rural Fire Service Queensland Assistant Commissioner Neil Gallant said residents needed to prepare while the going was good.

"Certainly the vegetation level is high so there is the potential there, but they have had some rain," Mr Gallant said.

"At this stage their activity is below average. They are still getting some fires, but it's not raging fires.

"The fires are slower moving because of the moisture levels."

"Property owners ... need to get in now when there has been a little bit of rain around and conditions are still okay.

"Because once it really starts to dry out, conditions will be very difficult to do controlled burns."

Emergency Services Minister Jack Dempsey said the RFSQ used sophisticated mapping technology to identify the properties that faced high fire dangers.

"We want all Queensland families to remain safe this bushfire season and our mapping technology has allowed us to directly target properties at risk," Mr Dempsey said.

"They will be provided with a flyer and fridge magnet with information on what different bushfire warnings mean and how they should prepare for a bushfire.

"If you receive this information in the mail you will know that the RFSQ has identified your property as being at risk of being impacted by bushfire."

National Parks Minister Steve Dickson said QPWS had reduced fuel hazards over the past few months.

"Reducing fuel hazards is particularly important in managing the potential threat of fire to human life and property," he said.

- APN NEWSDESK

DANGER ZONE

Properties at risk

  • Very high danger: 327
  • High danger: 1215
  • Total: 1542

Source: Queensland Fire and Emergency Service