Currently there are an unprecedented number of severe bushfires burning around Queensland and New South Wales. Our amazing emergency services are doing a stellar job in trying to contain them, protecting people and property from the worst. However, with no let up in sight and unfavourable weather conditions forecast, it is important to make sure your property is prepped as fully as possible.
With the continued hot weather and little to no rain our plants and trees are much drier than usual, these are the perfect conditions which enable fires to spread quickly. We have put together a list of actions you can take to prepare your property against the risk of bushfires.
Clean out Gutters
The first course of action is to clear out the gutters in your property and out- buildings. Old dead leaves and debris are extremely flammable and will only take a spark or rogue ember to set them alight. You can find out here how to clean out gutters safely with basic equipment here.
Elderly or disabled neighbours living in bushfire zones who are unable to clear out their own gutters may need assistance to do so, thus helping to prevent fire spreading in the neighborhood.
Proactive Tree Care to Prevent the Spread of Fire
Prune Overhanging Branches
It may seem obvious but those who live in a tree dense area need to make sure there are no overhanging branches or trees too close to the house or building. You will reduce the risk of fire spreading by simply pruning the trees back to an appropriate distance. We recommend using a qualified Arborist to complete this job as over pruning can cause the tree to become weak and therefore open to pest and disease, ultimately requiring it to be removed as it becomes unsafe.
If you do not have the time or opportunity to employ a professional Arborist to complete the tree pruning work, here is a handy blog post on pruning trees and especially what not to do.
Removal of Dead/ Dying Trees
It is imperative that any dead or dying trees that are close to your home are removed by a qualified Arborist as they are highly combustible.
Deadwood is the decay of bark and a common occurrence in trees, especially mature ones. It is can be caused by fungal colonization when the heartwood of the branch is hollow out or also by lack of water, disease, lack of enough sap, and storms. This causes the branch to die leaving the tree with highly combustible areas. Deadwood is also likely to break off in storms and even light winds and could easily help spread fire.
We recommend using a qualified Arborist to spot and remove deadwood from trees close to property, not only because of the fire risk but also for the overall future health of the tree, liability issues and general aesthetics.
Palm Tree Frond Maintenance.
Living in Queensland, many of us have palm trees on our properties that need to be maintained and removal of the dead Palm fronds are an important. As we know the palm trees’ dead fronds can be found either on the tree or fallen in the floor creating dry tree litter [n the ground. These dry fronds can easily catch alight. Reduce the risk of fire spreading by having your palms cleaned to remove dry, dead fronds.
Tidy Up Dried Matter
Give your garden a general tidy up by removing dried, dead matter including piles of leaves and twigs to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
If the worst does happen it is important to be prepared.
Find out for information on how to prepare for an emergency here.
Having an Emergency Kit is an important step to prepare for, survive and cope with emergencies.