Bushfire Threat Springs From Very Dry Winter

16:51' 13-09-2017
This years winter was Australias warmest on record, and the ninth driest winter on record, leaving most of southern Australia at increased risk of bushfire as summer approaches.

    A map of Australia showing the winter rainfall deficiencies

    Photo: abc.net.au

    It is also predicted that the south-eastern region can expect warmer weather in spring, meaning bushfires might arrive even earlier and be more active.

    The predictions from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centres has prompted fire commissioners nationwide to warn everyone to be on the alert. They held an an emergency management conference in Sydney in the first week of this month to discuss the impending fire season.

    Victoria's fire commissioner Craig Lapsley said the majority of Victorians live in places rated as the highest risk parts of Victoria, with the forests of Victoria being a particular concern. “We're already seeing some fires in the very eastern parts of Victoria, very difficult to manage,” he said.

    As if to support his words, Sydney experienced temperatures over 30° last week, with Brisbane not far behind, and NSW firefighters battled several fires around the state.

    Overall across Australia, rainfall in winter was significantly lower than the long-term average, making it the ninth driest on record.

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