Extra burns and wider trails as Council takes aim at bushfire threat
More planned burns, additional fire trails, extra staff resources and wider trails all feature in Council’s new plan to reduce Noosa’s bushland reserve fire risk.
The new Bushland Reserve Strategic Fire Management Plan calls for up to seven planned burns a year as Council takes aim at Noosa’s bushland reserve fire risk.
“Our aim is to better protect homes and lives from fire and generally boost the safety of anyone who visits our bushland reserves,” Mayor Clare Stewart said.
Community input helped shape the new Bushland Reserve Strategic Fire Management Plan. Endorsed by Council this week it replaces the 2015 plan.
“The new plan calls for up to seven planned burns a year, widening of almost two kilometres of existing fire trail around our bushland reserves, and the creation of two kilometres of brand new fire trail,” the Mayor said.
“Importantly, we’ll appoint a dedicated fire management officer to train up our own staff so we can carry out our own controlled burns without relying on private contractors.
“As specialised contractors are under huge demand, it can be very hard to get them to come to Noosa when the conditions are right for planned burns.
“Our new plan calls for seven burns a year, which will be much more achievable with the addition of a dedicated fire management officer than with our current system of using only contractors.”
Principal Environment Officer Peter Milne said Noosa Shire has a diversity of landscapes and each bushland reserve requires individual assessment to determine what fire mitigation measures were needed, while still conserving biodiversity values.
“While bushland reserves occupy a relatively small area of the shire - 4% - the challenge is that many of the reserves are very closely integrated with our urban areas,” he said.
The Mayor said Council was committed to being more proactive in protecting the shire from bushfires, by acting on what was learned from the 2019 fires which burnt more than 2060 hectares.
“This Council is committed to working closely with QFES and our rural firies to help alleviate the very real concerns our residents have about fires.”