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Get Ready GC

Disasters can happen quickly, sometimes without warning, so having your emergency plan in place is vital. Discover easy steps to keep your family, pets and property safe.

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Bushfire management

In places where City-managed natural areas adjoin urban and semi-rural residential areas, it is important that effective bushfire mitigation measures are put in place - by the City, residents and other land managers.

The City is a leader among Queensland local governments in undertaking bushfire mitigation activities in our natural areas. We work closely with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES), including local rural brigades, to ensure effective prevention measures are in place.

In addition, the City works closely with the South East Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium (SEQ F&BC), hosted by South East Queensland Catchments, to protect the ecology of its natural areas.

Hazard reduction burn program

Each year the City, in conjunction with QFES, undertakes mechanical or hazard reduction burns in key areas to mitigate bushfire risk.

Visit the 'Bushfires' alerts category page of our Media Centre during the cooler months to find out where and when hazard reduction burns are taking place.

Hazard reduction burns are undertaken to protect nearby properties and structures by burning ground fuels such as leaf litter and grass. These types of fires are generally 'cool' and are undertaken in appropriate weather conditions so that the fire burns slowly with small flames. At all times, the City will endeavour to balance environmental values and protection with the need to reduce the risk of bushfires to homes, properties and lives.

Bushfire management plans

In partnerships with QFES and the SEQ F&BC, the City has developed, or is in the process of developing, bushfire management plans for high priority, City-managed natural areas close to homes and communities.

These plans guide long-term bushfire mitigation and management activities and are developed in consultation with local rural brigades.

In areas where bushfire management plans are not yet finalised, the City undertakes short-term prevention activities in order to protect homes and properties from immediate fire risk. These activities are either mechanical maintenance or hazard reduction burning. Two areas where this has occurred are the Coombabah and Tugun Hill Conservation Areas.

Preparing for bushfire season

Living in a bushland setting poses a risk from bushfire, no matter where you live in Australia. Even here on the Gold Coast the bushfire risk is real and many homes and communities in bushfire-prone areas are also at risk.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) is the primary agency responsible for informing the public about bushfire safety.

For bushfire alerts, see QFES newsroom or check the @QldFES media feed on our City dashboard.

The PREPARE.ACT.SURVIVE. booklet prepared by the QFES provides essential tips on what you can do to deal with the threats of bushfire at home.

The booklet contains information on the following topics:

  • emergency warnings
  • fire danger ratings
  • bushfire survival plans
  • preparation for you, your family and property
  • actions to undertake if you decide to stay
  • surviving a fire event
  • fire bans
  • rural fire brigades.

This booklet and other important information can be found on the Queensland Rural Fire Service website.

Gold Coast Fire Management Group

The Gold Coast Fire Management Group (GCFMG) is a subcommittee of the Regional Inter-Departmental Committee (RIDC). The role of the RIDC is to coordinate and implement the on-ground bushfire strategies and to progress important service delivery issues to the Inter-Departmental Committee (IDC) at the state level.

Terms of reference for the GCFMCG

In general, the GCFMG reflects the same terms of reference as the IDC and RIDC. GCFMG focuses on local-specific issues, including:

  • providing information, advice and reports to the RIDC on wildfire mitigation coordination and planning
  • providing strategic direction for rural fire brigades and major landholders within the area
  • reviewing policies and procedures to ensure inter-agency consistency at the local level
  • reviewing operational procedures to ensure effective inter-agency cooperation
  • coordinating community engagement and public education across the area. 

Stakeholder membership

The GCFMG membership comprises QFES, local land managers and local government representation. Membership may include other interested government agencies and local representatives.

The chair of the FMG rests with QFES.

Core membership:

  • Queensland Fire and Emergency Service
  • Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services Rangers, DNRME/USL and foresters)
  • local government (environmental, disaster management, works)
  • significant land holders
  • SEQ Water local representative.

Potential other membership:

  • Queensland Police Service
  • Department of Defence
  • Transport and Main Roads local representatives.

Reporting relationships

The GCFMG provides input to the RIDC. The RIDC will make decisions and feed these decisions back to GCFMG. The input from the GCFMG, which incorporates local information and issues, will perform a key role in providing direction for the IDC to advise QFES on future bushfire management strategies.

Bushfire management plans

Comprehensive bushfire management plans are being developed for City-managed bushland reserves. For planning purposes, the reserve network across the city has been grouped into planning area 'clusters'.

Bushfire management plans have been completed for the several areas in consultation with local Queensland Rural Fire Service Brigades where applicable.

The Springbrook Public Conservation Estate Fire Strategy was an initiative of the City, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Service.

The strategy addresses fire management on State Government and City-managed conservation lands at Springbrook - Springbrook National Park, Numinbah and Austinville Forest Reserves - Springbrook, Numinbah, Purlingbrook and Austinville conservation areas. The strategy relates only to public land at Springbrook.

Related information

Jump to key information
  • Why is the City of Gold Coast clearing or burning off in its natural areas?

    The City, like all landowners, is responsible for bushfires that occur on its land and spread to neighbouring property. It is legally required to manage the bushfire hazard at all its properties including conservation zones. While bushfires don't often occur, the City must be prepared and ensure the potential impact to lives, property and the environment is minimised.

  • What is the bushfire risk for the City's conservation and bushland areas?

    The City and Queensland Fire and Emergency Service use hazard mapping to identify areas that have a potential bushfire hazard. This is combined with other assessments to identify the risk for the City's natural area estate. High risk areas are prioritised for hazard reduction burns or other treatments designed to reduce the amount or structure of fuel loads.

  • What is the City doing to reduce the bushfire risk in its natural areas?

    In a number of these areas, the City, in consultation with local rural fire brigades has developed, and is continuing to develop, Bushfire Management Plans. These plans, combined with risk assessments, guide the City's hazard reduction burn program which may involve the following actions:

    • creating inner and outer asset protection zones where houses immediately adjoin natural areas
    • construction and maintenance of fire trails on public lands to enable access for fire fighting crews in the event of a wildfire
    • installing and maintaining water tanks on public land to provide water to fire fighting crews in the event of a wildfire
    • management of non-native vegetation that has the potential to increase the fuel load and the bushfire risk
    • hazard reduction burning is used in areas where it is too steep to undertake mechanical work or where hazard has to be reduced over larger areas (creating wildfire mitigation zones which reduce the intensity and speed of bushfires)
    • providing residents who adjoin City-managed natural areas with information about bushfire management.

    At all times, the City will endeavour to balance environmental values and protection with the need to reduce the risk of bushfires to homes, properties and lives.

  • What impact will there be on the environment in these areas? What will happen to the animals, like the koala that lives out the back?

    There will be some impact in the inner and outer asset protection zones with the clearing of groundcover, shrubs and small trees. The area will have a more park-like appearance.

    Our rangers and/or a licensed wildlife spotter/catcher will be onsite when necessary during the City's vegetation management work in order to ensure that impacts to wildlife are managed appropriately.

    Most of the City's natural areas will be retained in their current natural state. In some areas, vegetation restoration techniques will be used to increase canopy cover and reduce weeds.

    When hazard reduction burning is used, the fires are planned for weather conditions where a 'cool' fire burns the vegetation in a patchy or incomplete pattern. These fires also burn slowly and with much lower flames than in wildfire conditions, giving wildlife the opportunity to escape to unburned patches.

    City officers attend hazard reduction burns to monitor and record fire and weather behaviour.

  • How often will the City be doing this work?

    In areas where mechanical maintenance is required, the City has a program of maintaining identified asset protection zones and fire trails on a regular basis. Sites for hazard reduction burning are identified annually in joint planning with the Queensland Rural Fire Service.

  • Can residents do anything to help prevent bushfires in these areas?

    Yes. You can help by ensuring your own property is bushfire ready by seeking information from the Queensland Rural Fire Service website.

    For further information, call us on 07 5582 8211 or 1300 GOLDCOAST (1300 465 326).

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