FOREST FIRE: Trees on fire as a massive bushfire approaches the road near Tinnanbar in early December. Firefighters started backburning and enacting a defence plan to contain the bushfire.
FOREST FIRE: Trees on fire as a massive bushfire approaches the road near Tinnanbar in early December. Firefighters started backburning and enacting a defence plan to contain the bushfire. Blake Antrobus

Firefighters: Don't let homes become 'undefendable'

THE importance of preparing Fraser Coast properties for the possibility of bushfires has been driven home with the spat of serious blazes.

Across the last two months, the region has witnessed the destructive power of flames after a six-day bushfire at Tinnanbar in early December and two large bushfires in Takura and Burrum Heads last week.

At every turn of these emergencies, our local rural and urban firefighters have been on the frontline of defence for the community.

However as Maryborough Rural Fire Service acting area director Ross Stacey well knows, without diligent preparations of properties the risk and difficulty fighting these fires increases dramatically.

"The Tinnanbar fire was partly on a portion of private country and some on state land," he said.

"Every fire is different but mitigation of the fuel to burn by managing the land in the best possible way does help.

"In fires like Tinnanbar we had fire breaks to work with. The residents there were very aware of fire, their environment and how to manage it. They were prepared and very aware and it is a credit to them.

"Preparation like this means we could access the fire quickly and work to contain it to the smallest possible area."

In his 15 years as a firefighter, Mr Stacey said experience showed time was critical when it came to fighting blazes.

"We see it often when people have not prepared properties it is difficult to get in and the fire crews have to put breaks in ... it takes time," he said.

"The very worst case scenario is when a property and home are at risk and because of the situation and environment it could be deemed undefendable."

Landowners looking for more information on how to prepare for fires can contact their local area fire warden whose details are listed at ruralfire.qld.gov.au.