AFAC The National Council for Fire and Emergency Services Australia and New Zealand has just issued their upcoming outlook for the upcoming Summer Season 2023/2024. As per the maps below an INCREASED RISK of fires are expected between December-February across Eastern and Central Australia. With QLD and NSW to see a significant risk across much of these states. While WA including in particular the coastal South West will see increased risk which has been evident last week with the devastating City of Wanneroo Bushfire which destroyed homes and threatened thousands of others on the outskirts of the Northern Suburbs of Perth. NT, VIC remain similar from the spring outlook of 2023, while SA and TAS have only small pockets of increased fire risk for the upcoming summer period. But like always just cause other areas don’t have increased fire risk, this does not mean fires won’t happen or occur and you should remain vigilant.
With an El Nino being declared and likely to be peaking now or in the next month with the influence of a recently POSITIVE IOD in the Indian Ocean and previous La Nina rainfall which will continue to dry out and help to increase the flammability of fuel loads. including in some areas that were burnt during 2019-20 bushfire season. The main two climate drivers mentioned above combined will help drive ABOVE AVERAGE Maximum Daytime temperatures and BELOW AVERAGE rainfall over the upcoming Summer period.
So what can you do now? Start having conversations with family if you live in dense bushland or very high prone fire risks area, Get your fire ready plans enacted and preparedness tasks done/completed over the next few weeks and months. Know where you will go incase of a fire and have multiple ways to get the latest information and warnings when they are issued.