The Queensland government says dry conditions have severely reduced opportunities for hazard reduction burns over the past two years.
A “very active early bushfire season” ended fire mitigation operations early in 2018, says Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford.
More than 350 planned hazard reduction burns were not completed in the years from 2016 to 2019, Mr Crawford said in response to a written parliamentary question.
He said the primary role of the state’s fire service was to provide professional advice and encourage landholders to undertake hazard reduction measures.
But the primary responsibility for hazard reduction burns rested with landholders.
“(Landholders) may decide weather conditions are unfavourable or dangerous, or that they need to preserve fodder for livestock,” Mr Crawford said.
Other bushfire mitigation strategies included firebreak, fire trail maintenance and community education activities.
Planned hazard reduction burns (and number completed in brackets) in Queensland:
2016 – 242 (122)
2017 – 225 (131)
2018 – 177 (69)
2019 – 168 (117)