In the coming months rural fire units will start controlled burn-off as part of Operation Cool Burn.
In the coming months rural fire units will start controlled burn-off as part of Operation Cool Burn. Alistair Brightman

Operation Cool Burn starts

THE good thing about rain is it helps the grass grow.

But if that grass dies off and dries out it can fast turn into a hazard.

So today the Queensland Fire Service launched Operation Cool Burn, a state-wide back burning program aimed at reducing the risk of scrub fires.

In southern parts of the district the Brooklands Rural Fire Brigade has started back-burning on private properties by request.

First Officer Ian Richardson said it was still a little too early for the larger-scale back burning to start.

"It's a little bit early for us to start on grass because it's still green, we normally wait for frost.”

At the moment they're mostly burning dried timber and older grasses.

The rural fire crews do the private burns free of charge and can burn both the grass and timber inside a property and the green matter alongside adjacent roads.

"We're not allowed to ask for money, but normally people will give us a donation,” Mr Richardson said.

While Mr Richardson is always on the hunt for members he said the Brooklands unit was well staffed.

"We have three trucks and we can usually man all three,” he said.

While we've had some good rain of late, the situation is far from catastrophic, with a moderate fuel load, according to Mr Richardson.

The situation is much the same in the north of the region.

Greg Day is the First Officer of the McEuen Rural Fire Brigade and has already started to plan his unit's activities.

"Our fuel loads are quite high because of the rain we've had but at the moment it's still quite green,” Mr Day said.

Certain varieties will dry out faster but for the most part there's still a few weeks before things heat up.

In the mean time Mr Day said there were a number of things residents could do to protect themselves, such as clearing their own fire-breaks and slashing down paddocks that have a lot of wild grasses growing.

First up on their list of jobs is the Tingoora Reserve and the Wondai showgrounds.

As always both fire crews are looking for new volunteers.

To get involved call the Queensland Fire Service on 41623163.