Fire was too close to school

DESMOND Messenger says it's lucky the vegetation fire at Bullyard this week wasn't much worse and says he's been requesting the land be control burned for 10 years.

At midday on Monday Rural Fire Service Queensland acting area director Phil Williams said an electrical fault caused a fire to start off Bucca Rd, near the Bullyard State School.

Original story here

Mr Messenger, who lives in South Kolan but owns land in Bullyard, said his neighbours heard the fire start.

"The couple who live up the corner heard a bang, or an explosion of some sort and they lost power," Mr Messenger said.

"The fire started about 200 yards from the Bullyard school under the power line."

He said Bullyard State School students were being placed at unnecessary risk because land around it was not control burned.

But Mr Williams said the onus was on the landowner to look after their property and said he knew about the issues with the land that burned on Monday.

"I know locals had identified it as a risk," Mr Williams said.

"But it's really the owner of the land that needs to take responsibility for that."

Mr Williams said if asked, the fire crews could help with control burns.

"But we can't just go in and remove the bush fire hazard," he said.

Mr Messenger said it wasn't good enough that other property owners weren't looking after their land.

He said he'd raised the issue about the property with police, fire authorities and Bundaberg Regional Council on countless occasions.

"They said they can't do anything about it but I said I want it on record because limbs (from trees) could have come down on the kids' heads," Mr Messenger said.

He said the Monday fire came too close to the school and scorched the school shelter shed and trees.

"It's not damaged, it would have lifted the paint on it though," he said.

"But the kids can't use it at the moment because of safety reasons."

Mr Messenger said the unplanned fire had now done to the land what he'd asked for for years.

"It's finally been burned," he said.

But Mr Messenger said there was more vulnerable land around the school that needed attention.

"On the western side, it hasn't been burned," he said.

Bundaberg Regional Council councillor Wayne Honor said issues relating to overgrown properties were usually brought to the council on a complaint-driven basis.

"If council requires a landowner to address issues relating to excess vegetation, a notice will be issued requiring the landowner to appropriately clear the area," Cr Honor said.

"This usually results in mowing or slashing the area."

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