Concerns are mounting about the upcoming bushfire season after the ACT experienced its driest June on record and sixth driest July since 1982. The new head of the ACT Bushfire Council, Sarah Ryan, said recent weather conditions had prompted concerns about the bushfire threat in the capital.
“We are more concerned about the upcoming season than we were last year,” Dr Ryan said.
“There’s been very little winter rain throughout south-east Australia and it’s been quite warm, so it’s expected that the fire season this year will be more hazardous.”
This alarming concern has been amplified across the other states, as Western Australia’s firefighting brigades are preparing for what they predict will be a dangerous bushfire season.
Furthermore, LESS than one in five West Australians living in fire-prone areas have a bushfire plan, alarming new research by the State’s fire department reveals.
Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan described the figures as “frightening”, saying: “The ferocity of a bushfire is like nothing you have ever experienced. It is hell on Earth. You need a plan.”
The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) northern outlook report, released in late July, predicted above-normal fire potential for western and northern Queensland and Western Australia and throughout parts of the Northern Territory’s centre and north.
Dr Blair Trewin, Bureau of Meteorology Senior Climatologist, said no matter what policies governments adopted today, climate changes have been locked in for about the next 30 years.
The senior climatologist said Australia’s Forest Fire Danger Index has been rising and the length of the fire season has also been increasing, with fire danger likely to increase throughout the 21st century due to climate change.
He said unprecedented heat events are becoming more common, with temperatures more than four degrees above previous records.
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Source: ABC News, Perthnow, Canberra Times