Firefighter Michael Hancock surveys the ashes of his Noosa River Rd home after it burnt down in 2017.
Firefighter Michael Hancock surveys the ashes of his Noosa River Rd home after it burnt down in 2017.

Firefighter sees threat growing on Noosa North Shore

About a dozen landlocked blocks on Noosa North Shore need clearing to help avoid another fire emergency, according to a seasoned firefighter who knows what it is like to see his own home reduced to tin rubble by flames.

Michael Hancock, 73, who has been a regular part of the fire response mounted by the Noosa North Shore Rural Fire Brigade, was speaking as a concerned resident and not as a fire emergency spokesman.

He is urging locals to turn out for a free information session on how to prepare properties for the summer fire threat.

Noosa Council is calling for registrations of interest for Wednesday’s briefing that will be held from 5.30pm until 8:30pm at Beach Road Holiday Homes on Beach Rd.

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Mr Hancock said his main concern was for the “dry blocks” on Wygani Dr.

“They’re long blocks and they go back probably 200 (or) 300 metres,” Mr Hancock said.

“The houses are built on the front part obviously nearest the road but back behind them is tinder dry.

“There’s lots of fuel on them, they need to be cleared.

“Someone has to go through them with a slasher and clear them up.”

Mr Hancock said the blocks were not suitable for backburning to reduce the fuel load because there was too much infrastructure around them.

“There’s no firebreaks, nothing,” he said.

“There’s no way it can be burnt in situ, it has to be cleared.”

Mr Hancock said he wanted to get his point across at Wednesday’s meeting.

“If you own a property you’ve really got an obligation to make sure it’s safe from fire and it’s prudent to do it for yourself,” he said.

Mr Hancock said if property owners cleared their blocks and loaded up trailers they could dump the material at the rural fire brigade station to add to the fire heap his members practice burned during favourable weather conditions.

Mr Hancock was one of three homeowners on Noosa River Dr who lost their properties in August 2017, but not to bushfire.

The losses were sparked by an electrical fire in a neighbour’s home that could not be controlled.

“I was down at my grandson’s birthday, but I don’t know whether I could have done anything,” he said.

“I had a powder extinguisher here, but I would have had to have been pretty Johnny quick to get that up and running.

“It went through three houses.

“At the end of the day there was a pile of tin on the ground, that was the roof.”

He has rebuilt and enjoys the bush lifestyle the north shore offers.

Mr Hancock said this year’s fire season was not shaping as serious as last year due to more recent rains.

“In saying that, we’ve had a period of now for probably two weeks where there hasn’t been much rain,” he said.



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