Firebreak upgrades in protected areas south of Brisbane
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Partnerships (QPWS&P) will be conducting works to upgrade firebreaks along the boundaries of some protected areas south of Brisbane.
Urban development now abuts some of these boundaries, and QPWS&P and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have identified some of them as being urban interface areas where there is currently a high fire risk.
To address this risk, QPWS&P will be undertaking vegetation management and earth works along and/or close to these park boundaries.
Further works are continuing in Carbrook Wetlands Conservation Parks 1 and 2. Please refer to the maps below for locations and further details about them.
The firebreak upgrades will:
- create lower fuel zones adjacent to private properties,
- help protect life and property from wildfire by reducing the risk of fires spreading to neighbouring properties,
- improve QPWS&P’s ability to undertake planned burns to reduce fuel loads in QPWS&P managed areas,
- improve access for fire fighting vehicles and fire fighter safety, and
- enhance the functionality and service life of critical park firebreaks.
QPWS&P will be engaging professional contractors to undertake the works.
The works will involve:
- removing vegetation (including entire trees) along park boundaries and adjacent to fire lines, and
- creating some new firebreaks in strategic areas.
Vegetation that is removed will be mulched and left onsite to create completely clear firebreaks of 5–15 metres wide, depending on the vegetation type and topography. Areas with a higher fire risk will have wider firebreaks.
All works should be completed by the end of 2022.
Further works in other areas are not scheduled at this time. When the schedule for any new works is set, and the date for works to start in a particular area is approaching, QPWS&P will undertake the following actions at least 4 weeks prior to the planned start date in a particular area:
- Distribute flyers to adjoining property holders advising of the upcoming works and where interested persons can obtain further details.
- Post signs at the main entrance to the park and at the proposed work sites advising of the upcoming works and where interested persons can obtain further details.
- Post a Park Alert on the department’s website advising of the upcoming works and where interested persons can obtain further details.
Mitigation of environmental and cultural heritage impacts
Environmental Impact Assessments have been completed for all proposed works.
In areas of only vegetation management works:
- There will be no below ground-level disturbance.
- All trees will be cut as close as possible to ground level and mulched.
- No trees will be pulled out of the ground or pushed over.
- Vegetation within 10–20m of all watercourses, gullies or wet areas will generally be retained.
An independent fauna (wildlife) spotter will be engaged for all vegetation management works and earth works. The wildlife spotter will:
- Inspect the area approximately one–two weeks prior to the commencement of works to develop a mitigation strategy if necessary.
- Be on-site while operations are underway.
- Relocate wildlife that may be impacted by works to a suitable surrounding area in consultation with QPWS&P staff.
QPWS&P will be implementing a tree replacement program in appropriate areas.
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessments will also be undertaken in conjunction with the relevant First Nations group prior to any works.
Impacts to park users and adjacent residents
The affected zones within the protected areas will be closed for safety reasons while works are being undertaken. Other sections within the protected areas will remain open to the public.
Unfortunately, nearby residents may experience some noise and dust while works are underway. These impacts will be minimised as far as possible.
To mitigate noise and dust, the contractor will only conduct works:
- between 7am and 4pm Monday to Friday
- in only one zone at a time within each protected area
- ensure any dust created is kept to a minimum—this may involve the use of water trucks when necessary.
Each section will take approximately three weeks to complete, although this will depend on weather, vegetation type, and possible machinery breakdown.
Maps of works
- Thick red lines are work areas requiring vegetation management.
- Thick purple lines are areas where new firebreaks or vehicle passing areas will be constructed.
Removal of understorey vegetation means removal of all vegetation below 350mm at chest height (including ground cover).
Carbrook Wetlands Conservation Park
- Zone 2: Park boundary at end of Starlight Court. Approximately 800m.
Earth works: create new firebreak. (completed)
- Zone 3: Parallel Break. Approximately 900m.
Vegetation management: create 10m of completely cleared area (all vegetation removed) from northern side of break and remove a further 5m of understorey. (completed)
- Zone 4: Quinquenervia Break. Approximately 1000m.
Earth works: upgrade existing fire break. (completed)
- Zone 5: Crinia Break. Approximately 1300m.
Earth works: upgrade existing fire break.
- Zone 7: Boundary along eastern edge of Serpentine section. Approximately 1100m.
Earth works: create a new firebreak. (completed)
- Zone 8: Existing break from north to south of Serpentine section. Approximately 1600m.
Vegetation management: create 10m of cleared vegetation by removing 2.5m either side of break, excluding some large scribbly gums. (completed)