AN increased risk of bushfire for Spring 2023 has been identified for large areas of the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales, as well as regions in Victoria and South Australia.
Following above average rainfall experienced during consecutive La Niña years, the Bureau of Meteorology predicts a switch to higher chances of above average temperatures and below average rainfall for almost the entire country.
Recent rainfall means many regions have also seen increased fuel growth, which is contributing to increased risk of bushfire for many regions of Australia during the spring season.
In releasing the 2023 Spring bushfire outlook, Rob Webb, CEO of the National Council for Fire and Emergency Services (AFAC) said climate influences driving increased risk of bushfire this season are widespread.
“Almost the entire country can expect drier and warmer conditions than normal this spring, so it is important for Australians be alert to local risks of bushfire over the coming months, regardless of their location,” he said.
‘Fire is a regular part of the Australian landscape in spring. Wherever you live, work or travel, now is the time to plan and prepare. Understand your risk, know where you will get your information, and talk to your family about what you will do.’
State and territory fire authorities will continue to monitor local conditions closely and undertake bushfire mitigation activities where possible.
Fire potential can vary greatly, even at the smaller scale, between bordering states and territories. Each state and territory’s assessment takes into account different land use types and vegetation types. This is influenced by different forecasts for temperature and rainfall over these regions.
The Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for spring 2023 is delivered in a new format to help communities better understand their bushfire risk and take appropriate action to prepare to protect people and property. Key changes include a simplified one-level framework and more targeted information, including jurisdictional maps, place names, and links to relevant fire authority websites.
‘The updated format of the Seasonal Bushfire Outlook is informed by the expertise of fire authorities across Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology. Fire agencies are now able to share more relevant and targeted information with communities to empower them to be safer and more prepared for this upcoming season,” Mr Webb said.
More specific Spring 2023 Seasonal Bushfire Outlook Maps for Australia and each state and territory are available on the AFAC webpage.
This Seasonal Outlook was developed by AFAC, the Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, the NSW Rural Fire Service, ACT Emergency Services Agency, ACT Parks and Conservation Service, Country Fire Authority, Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action Victoria, Tasmania Fire Service, SA Country Fire Service, Department of Fire and Emergency Services and Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions WA, and Bushfires NT.