Planned burns reduce bushfire risk
  • Last updated:
  • 06 Mar 2021

Article and images by Dean West, Fire Management Support Officer, Sunshine Coast Council

After a very wet winter which hampered operational activity, council’s Environmental Operations Branch have now made good progress with the prescribed burns program for this season. Currently, there have been six burns completed from council’s ‘Priority One’ burn list. This is a great outcome in spite of the inclement conditions.  

Two of the completed burns were ‘top priority’ on the Sunshine Coast Area Fire Management Group ‘Operation Cool Burn’ list. These were:

  • Glasshouse Environment Reserve - Mount Ngungun (4.2 ha), and
  • Lamerough Creek West Environment Reserve /Southern Section - Pelican Waters (7.26 ha).

There was joint agency cooperation with Queensland Parks & Wildlife Services (QPWS) and local Rural Services, for the on-ground implementation of these council planned burns. 

The ‘Operation Cool Burn’ number one priority site is for Dixon Road, Mountain Creek, which consists of 222.31 ha joint agency land including Mooloolah River NP, and 60 ha of council land (Mountain Creek Conservation Area). A burn at this site is planned for later this season if conditions become favourable, otherwise this will be a priority burn for the 2021 prescribed burn season. Council will be assisting QPWS with this burn.

Other prescribed hazard reduction and ecological burn sites completed in 2020 include: 

  • Ben Bennett Bushland Park – Caloundra (2.8 ha),
  • Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens – Tanawha (3 ha),
  • Lamerough Creek West Environment Reserve/ Northern section – Pelican Waters (2.84 ha), and
  • London Creek Environment Reserve – Peachester (20 ha).

Council’s trained fire management staff made themselves available at very short notice to complete the burns, as suitable weather has allowed. These include officers from council’s Environmental Operations Branch, Healthy Places Unit, and local First Nations Peoples.