Magnetic Island rangers prepare for fire season

Issued: 6 Aug 2019

Magnetic Island rangers are preparing for the upcoming fire season and will undertake a series of planned burns over the coming months.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) Senior Ranger Patrick Centurino said the burns would occur between now and December as fuel loads dried out.

“The first burns started last week and went very well. They will be continuing this week, weather permitting,” Mr Centurino said.

“Conducting planned burns is an important element of managing the Magnetic Island landscape, and it helps to reduce the risk of wildfires during peak fire season, and ultimately protect properties.

“Conducting burns also promotes natural diversity in habitats and ecosystems, and helps the land’s resilience to climate change.”

Mr Centurino said fire was historically used by Traditional Owners to manage country on Magnetic Island.

Planned burns are generally cooler, low-intensity, slow-moving fires, compared with wildfires that are generally hot, intense and fast-moving.

“QPWS is well prepared for fire management, and all our Magnetic Island burning activities are based on a comprehensive strategy,” he said.

“We closely monitor climatic and weather conditions to decide appropriate times and places for the burns.

“QPWS conducts fire operations with other fire authorities on the island, and chairs the Magnetic Island Fire Management Committee, which also includes representatives from fire and emergency authorities, police, council representatives and the Wulgurukaba First Nations people.

“QPWS will listen to community concerns and make adjustments to the burn schedule where possible.

“We’ll directly inform park neighbours before each burn, and will use local media and park alerts to inform island residents more broadly,” Mr Centurino said.

Park alerts are on the DES website.