Prepare for 2020 bushfire season before it's too late

Use COVID-19 lockdowns as a chance to get ready for bushfire season.

Following 2019’s devastating bushfire season which saw lives lost, homes destroyed and businesses forever close their doors, Queensland’s Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is urging Queenslanders to prepare their properties for the upcoming season. 

QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdowns were an opportunity for the community to be proactive in the wake of the 2019 bushfire season, which destroyed 49 homes, 68 sheds, five commercial buildings and burnt more than 7.7 million hectares of land across the state. 

“The impact of the prolonged and heightened 2019 bushfire season should prompt residents to spend time now preparing,” Mr Leach said.

“All Queenslanders will remember the intense bushfire season the state experienced last year and how it affected them.

“An adequately prepared property can help reduce the severity of a bushfire, which is why everyone in rural and urban areas needs to take simple steps now to prepare their properties.”

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Mr Leach said residents could begin their preparations by removing leaves, clearing gutters, trimming overhanging branches, keeping their lawns short and reach out to their local Rural Fire Service if they require further assistance. 

“Residents can contact their local rural fire brigade and fire wardens for advice, assistance and ideas on how to prepare their individual properties,” he said. 

“We will be working to minimise the bushfire risk, but bushfire prevention is a community effort.”

Mr Leach urged all Queenslanders to implement and maintain their bushfire survival plans sooner rather than later.

“A well-thought-out plan could make all the difference once bushfire season is under way,” he said. 

“This is because a plan should clearly state what action will be taken if a bushfire is in the area.

“Combined with property preparation, a bushfire survival plan is an effective measure individuals and families can take ahead of this year’s bushfire season.”

For more information on preparing for bushfire season and to complete a bushfire survival plan visit ruralfire.qld.gov.au

Australian bushfire figures*: 

  • 33 human lives lost
  • 1bn+ animals killed
  • 12.6m+ hectares burned
  • 11.3m people smoke affected

*Figures captured reflect Australia’s 2019 bushfire season.