Queensland Rural Fire Service regional manager Superintendent Alan Gillespie (centre), with Mt Forbes Rural Fire Brigade members Jason Gillett (left) and Peter Ackerley.
Queensland Rural Fire Service regional manager Superintendent Alan Gillespie (centre), with Mt Forbes Rural Fire Brigade members Jason Gillett (left) and Peter Ackerley. Andrew Korner

Ipswich region one of worst fire 'hotspots' in state

THE IPSWICH region is near the top of the state's bushfire hotspot list, prompting renewed calls from firefighters to get ready for what could be a dangerous fire season.

A record number of bushfires in southeast Queensland in 2018 propelled the West Moreton region to third in the state's major bushfire hotspots list. The list compares the number of bushfires during the 2018 season across all 17 Rural Fire Service commands.

RFS regional manager Alan Gillespie said more than 760 fires took hold across the south-east in 2018, up more than 90 per cent from the previous year.

"This is a stark reminder of the evolving bushfire threat facing parts of south-east Queensland,” Mr Gillespie said.

"Bushfire activity is increasing, the seasons are starting earlier and lasting longer.”

Mr Gillespie said the RFS had identified key areas of concern across the region and was preparing for the worst.

"We are seeing above-average fuel loads and very low soil moisture in areas around Ipswich, Boonah and the West Moreton and Lockyer Valley regions,” he said.

"Residents need to be proactive, and that means mowing the lawn regularly, preventing overgrowth on large properties, removing dry or dead leaf litter and branches and keeping flammable items away from the home.”

Residents should have a bushfire survival plan. Visit ruralfire.qld.gov.au.