GET FIRE READY: South Burnett rural inspector Marty Taylor urges residents to play their part this fire season.
GET FIRE READY: South Burnett rural inspector Marty Taylor urges residents to play their part this fire season. Claudia Williams

How to prepare for 'volatile' start to fire season

LAST season South Burnett fire crews responded to 300 fires across the region, that is double the number than the year before.

It was one of the region's busiest and longest seasons spanning 10 months from July to April.

South Burnett rural inspector Marty Taylor and his Queensland Fire and Emergency Service team are urging residents to play their part ahead of the start of the season this year.

"We need to make the best of the time we have so we need to make sure the locals do what they can to make sure they are safe,” he said.

"What we are asking people to do is assist us to be bushfire ready by clearing their properties of dead leaves, branches, tall grass and any fuel for fire.

"We know the graziers have had good rain and they are reluctant to burn off any grass for grazing stock but it is up to them to manage fire risks on their properties and they can do that by putting in fire breaks.”

The wet and windy weather of late has delayed the service conducting hazard reduction burns as part of Operation Coolburn, which is not an ideal start to the season, according to Insp Taylor.

"We are prepared for it but we can't predict what the weather is going to do,” he said.

"We are facing a difficult situation where we don't know how the fire is going to behave.”

While the fire season officially starts on September 1 Insp Taylor said the South Burnett typically jumped the gun and expected fires start in the region in August.

"It is hard because some years are completely different,” he said.

"The South Burnett is pretty volatile at the start of the season and until we get good rain.”

Insp Taylor said land owners needed to ensure they had a fire permit and cleared access to their property for fire trucks which require four metres clearance in each direction.

"We have got some good rural brigs in the South Burnett that spread a good message on fire safety and awareness,” he said.