LANDSBOROUGH and Diamond Valley are among sites across the Sunshine Coast which will undergo planned burns in the coming months, with burn season officially beginning this month and continuing through to September, provided conditions are suitable.
Residents near the nominated burn locations should keep an eye out for advance notice of burn activity in their area and keep windows and doors closed when burns are planned, ensuring any respiratory medications are close to hand.
Sunshine Coast Council Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said council’s proactive Bushfire Management Program aimed to protect our 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 compared with a potential unplanned bushfire,” Cr Suarez 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.”
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.
Mr Morgan said they also rake around the base of significant animal habitat trees and those with important cultural values, to ensure they are protected from fire. Some, he explained, are hundreds of years old, and teams undertake pre- and post-fire monitoring on vegetation and associated wildlife habitat.
“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,” he said.
A map of all burns scheduled for 2022 and advance notice of any upcoming burn will be placed on council’s Facebook page, and residents who live adjacent to the burn locations will receive a notification letter at the start of the season. Signage on the surrounding streets will be in place in the days before the burn.