Taskforce identifies areas of heightened fire risk
TWO areas of the Whitsundays have been identified as high fire risks post-Cyclone Debbie due to their proximity to populated zones.
Inspector for the Mackay Rural Area of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Andrew Houley, said these were eight hectares of council reserve land at the Cannonvale TAFE college site, and Shutehaven, which covered land to the north of Shute Harbour.
The TAFE site, he said, was already surrounded by good fire breaks, but the job now was to clean the fire breaks and tidy up after the cyclone.
Mr Houley said Shutehaven was a difficult location because it was steep, but it had been well cleared by locals.
“There, we will focus on neighbourhood awareness from the fire and rescue teams about the risk of increased fire fuel,” he said.
Investigating fire risk areas across the Whitsundays was done as part of an on-site analysis by Cyclone Debbie Task Force members including QFES’s land management agency partners – Whitsunday Regional Council, Mackay Canegrowers, Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue, Proserpine Cane Growers, National Parks and Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
The focus of the taskforce was to address any post-cyclone damage that could contribute to heightened fire threats.
Mr Houley said timing was paramount as fire season typically began in spring.
Residents seeking a fire permit can log on to www.ruralfire service.qld.gov.au.
PLAYING IT SAFE: Investigating fire risks.