SUNSHINE Coast Council’s annual planned burn season is underway with nine sites prioritised across the region.
Peregian Springs, Caloundra, Alexandra Headland, Buderim, Landsborough, Caloundra West, Palmview, Diamond Valley and Yandina Creek will undergo burns before September, if conditions are suitable.
Sunshine Coast Council Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox said Council’s proactive Bushfire Management Program aimed to protect the community and enhance our environment.
“Planned burns help reduce the amount of forest ‘fuel’ in targeted locations before the Spring bushfire season and usually take place in the cooler months so the fires are less intense and more manageable,” Cr Cox said.
“With more than 60 per cent of Council’s bushland relying on fire to thrive, regenerate and maintain healthy wildlife populations, periodic fire is important to the health and survival of our forests and the animals that have adapted to live in them.
“Plants include some threatened species of eucalypts, tea-trees and wattles, and the iconic and now endangered wildflower, Christmas bells.
“Residents near the nominated burn locations should keep an eye out for advance notice of activity in their area, keep windows and doors closed when burns are planned and ensure any respiratory medications are close to hand.”
Right conditions ‘vital’ for planned burns
Sunshine Coast Council Fire Management Officer Guy Morgan said a trained Council team worked hard to plan and prepare for burns and monitored the weather closely, waiting for the right conditions.
“Low intensity patch mosaic burning is used to reduce the impact on native animals and achieve these desired ecological outcomes,” Mr Morgan said.
“This allows animals to escape through the unburnt edges and natural features such as gullies and generally leaves 25 to 60 per cent of an area unburnt, providing animals with areas for refuge.
“We also rake around the base of significant animal habitat trees and those with important cultural values to ensure these trees are protected from the fire – some are hundreds of years old – and undertake pre- and post-fire monitoring on vegetation and associated wildlife habitat.
“Again this season, Council will collaborate with other agencies such as the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service undertaking regional fire mitigation planning, disaster management and fire operations.
“Council will also continue to work alongside the local Kabi Kabi and Jinibara First Nations peoples to share skills and knowledge relating to bushfire management.”
Council is an active member of the Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium.
A map of all burns scheduled for 2023 and advance notice of any upcoming burn will be placed on Council’s Facebook page.
People can also search “Bushfire Management” on Council’s website at www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au
• Any threats to life and property call 000 (triple zero)
• Any residents affected by smoke are advised to close windows and doors, utilise air-conditioning and keep respiratory medication close at hand. Seek medical advice if you are susceptible to smoke impacts
• As a precaution, road users are advised to drive to suit conditions as there is potential for smoke to reduce visibility.
Local scheduled burns for 2023
*Doonan Creek Environmental Reserve – Peregian Springs
*Gull’bu rah Environment Reserve – Yandina Creek