We should be preparing for a vastly different bushfire season as the effects of La Niña are felt across the country, according to the Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook: December 2020 – February 2021.
This warning comes from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (BNHCRC) as it releases its seasonal bushfire outlook.
It is warning that grass and crop fires are an area of concern over the summer months.
Farmers in grasslands in particular are being advised to remain cautious this summer as these types of fires are fast moving and can spread rapidly when fanned by strong winds.
Current conditions mean that our communities should be continuing to come together to prepare for the risks facing us over the coming summer.
While the south east and north west of the country have experienced much needed rain, this has led to grass growth, which will dry out as it gets warmer.
On the other hand, Western Australia has missed out on this rainfall and conditions are set to be very dry, and will pose many fire risks.
The east coast will also need to stay alert as normal fire conditions are still expected for much of the forested areas.
While last year’s fires burnt through millions of hectares, there is significant area that was not burnt.
Efforts are being made for landholders to working closely with local government, states and territories to keep Australians safe this summer. But everyone must remain vigilant.
The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook: December 2020 – February 2021 will be used by fire authorities to make strategic decisions such as resource planning and prescribed fire management to reduce the negative impacts of bushfire.
For anyone in areas at risk, it is extremely important that they are prepared and have an evacuation plan, and have everything at hand, in case you have to leave the property. Think it through, think about what you need to take with you.
Also, talk to your neighbours, ask them about their evacuation plan and let them know about your plan.
We all need to work together and look out for each other, and we’ll get through the bushfire season with far fewer loses.
The BNHCRC Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook: December 2020 – February 2021 can be found at https://bnhcrc.com.au/hazardnotes/85
These recommendations follow on from findings in the Bushfire royal commission released on 30 October 2020.
What to expect this Bushfire season
Australia’s climate is now under the influence of La Niña, and as a result the landscape and weather conditions continue to be vastly different to the previous two years.
Weather conditions for the year to date, and the summer climate signals, mean that large parts of New South Wales west of the Great Dividing Range face above normal fire conditions, as well as grassland areas of the ACT and into north eastern Victoria.
Grass and crop fires are the main concern in these locations for the summer months as the growth dries out in the warmer weather.
Western Australia has largely missed out on the rainfall in 2020 and conditions are very dry, with parts of the south and south west coasts expecting above normal fire conditions through summer.
Video of Overview – Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook: December 2020 – February 2021
It is important to remember that areas designated as normal fire potential may experience fires.
Fire is a regular occurrence across Australia, and it is important to remember that areas designated as normal fire potential will still see fires. Normal fire risk does not mean there is no risk.
The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook is produced quarterly to be used by fire authorities to make strategic decisions such as resource planning and prescribed fire management to reduce the negative impacts of bushfire.