Grey nomads and all others who live or travel into remote parts of Australia are being warned to expect a difficult bushfire season ahead.
The significant rainfall in many areas during winter, combined with above average temperatures has encouraged vegetation growth and increased the bushfire threat. The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC (BNHCRC) has just released its outlook for Australia’s 2016 bushfire season, and it shows New South Wales, Victoria and parts of Queensland and Western Australia are particularly vulnerable. However, Tasmania and South Australia can expect delayed fire seasons with a bushfire threat no greater than in previous years.
Sydney-based Fire and Rescue NSW and member of the Firefighters Climate Alliance, Jim Casey, told news.com.au said the forecast was causing ‘very real concerns’.
“The outlook suggests that inland NSW and inland Victoria in particular are facing a potentially severe bushfire season,” Mr Casey said “A warmer and wetter winter than usual has led to an increase in fuel load (vegetation), and that fuel load will be potentially hazardous when the hot summer – which we are expecting – is upon us.”
He said the vegetation growth could become unmanageable as fire season approaches.
“What is really very clear is that the conditions for a catastrophic fire is in place and we expect these conditions to continue in a warmer climate,” Mr Casey told news.com.au. “It becomes not a question of ‘if’ but a question of ‘when’ we will be seeing devastating bushfires.”