AFAC, the National Council for fire and emergency services in Australia and New Zealand, has released the Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Summer 2022.
The Outlook shows that many parts of Australia saw above average rainfall and significant flooding this year and that the saturated ground in many of these regions supports enhanced vegetation and fuel load growth. This, in combination with expected warmer and drier conditions later in the season, is generating varied fire potential for summer 2022.
Over the course of the summer, as vegetation naturally dries out with the normal seasonal cycle, the fire potential may rise quickly with any extended period of hot, dry and windy weather, meaning that it is possible for regions of below normal bushfire potential at the start of summer to transition to normal, or even above normal, bushfire potential later in the season.
Above normal fire potential is expected in central western and southern WA, central Australia, southern Queensland and inland NSW due to increased fuel loads as a result of significant rainfall. Western Tasmania also shows above normal fire potential following a dry spring period.
Areas across Victoria, NSW and the ACT show below normal fire potential due to increased fuel moisture, the continued wet outlook and reduced fuel loads following the 2019-20 bushfire season.
While most of Australia shows normal fire potential during the summer outlook period, anyone living and working in these areas needs to be vigilant. Destructive and deadly fires can still occur during normal bushfire seasons across Australia.
AFAC CEO Rob Webb said: ‘The Seasonal Bushfire Outlook is developed in collaboration with fire agencies across Australia, bringing their knowledge and observations together, which are supported by insights and forecasting from the Bureau of Meteorology, to develop a national picture of fire potential.”
“This Outlook shows a diversity of fire risk this season, which reflects the diversity of Australia’s landscape. As we enter summer, we will use this Outlook to guide our operational and strategic planning, and jurisdictional fire and emergency services will continue to monitor local conditions.”
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 Environment, Land, Water and Planning 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.
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