Australia — Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts and Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Commissioner Lee Johnson this morning launched the new bushfire safety campaign Prepare.Act.Survive and urged Queenslanders to prepare for another busy bushfire season.
The Prepare.Act.Survive campaign follows the tragedy of the Victorian bushfires in February 2009 and recommendations from the Royal Commission.
While our local community operates in a different environment to Victoria, the Bligh Government is proactively making improvements based on the Royal Commissions interim findings, Mr Roberts said.
The Prepare.Act.Survive. initiative has been adopted nationally and allows residents to not only prepare for bushfire season but equips them with the knowledge they need to take appropriate actions to survive during a bushfire.
The campaign will include community education, a new Fire Danger Rating system and the introduction of standardised community warnings that advise of the critical factors of a bushfire.
Other initiatives include radio and television commercials, a lift out which will be sent to residents in at risk areas and a travellers guide to assist locals and visitors of the dangers of being caught unprepared.
The media campaign will encourage all residents who live in or near bushland to prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan. This plan will help residents outline what needs to be done if you decide to leave an area before a bushfire threatens and what you need to do if you decide to stay in your home.
Residents will start seeing and hearing the advertisements for this campaign over the coming days and the lift out will be available in the coming weeks but families can download their bushfire survival plan from the rural fire website today.
Mr Roberts said while the bushfire season was still weeks away, firefighters were already noticing high fuel loads across the state.
The QFRS constantly monitors fire weather conditions around the state and it would appear that we could be in for another busy fire period this season, he said.
Given that vast parts of Queensland received substantial rain and flooding earlier this year, there is plenty of new growth in bush and grassland areas, which means more potential fuel for bushfires.
QFRS Commissioner Lee Johnson said preparations were well underway.
Firefighters have been conducting planning, training exercises, hazard reduction burns and other bushfire mitigation activities for the past six months and while confident they are prepared, families should be doing all they can to ensure they are ready as well.
I strongly encourage everyone to make sure their yard is kept tidy and clear of excessive vegetation which could become fuel for a fire.
Sit down with your family and plan exactly what you would do if you decided to stay in your home during a bushfire as well as what you would take with you if you decided to leave. These are all simple actions which will help prepare your family and home ahead of the bushfire season.
A new live fire incident page will also become operational from the rural fire website over the coming weeks to update residents in real time about bushfire incidents throughout the state.