Hot­ter fire sea­son ex­pected

The Tatura Guardian - - News - By Rhi­an­non Tuffield

The Goul­burn Val­ley could be in for an ear­lier and more in­tense fire sea­son fol­low­ing the re­lease of a bush­fire out­look map high­light­ing most of the eastern coast.

Re­leased last week by the Bush­fire and Nat­u­ral Haz­ards CRC, the sea­sonal bush­fire out­look for south­ern Aus­tralia pre­dicts lo­ca­tions from cen­tral-west Vic­to­ria to north­ern Queens­land could suf­fer through a hot­ter and ear­lier sea­son.

An un­usu­ally mild, dry win­ter paired with fore­casts for spring has caused those pre­dic­tions.

The Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy pre­dicts a swing to­wards more av­er­age rain­fall lev­els in spring, but the shift might not hap­pen un­til well into the sea­son.

Tem­per­a­tures are likely to re­main above av­er­age, con­tin­u­ing a pat­tern that saw Aus­tralia post its warm­est ever win­ter for day­time con­di­tions by some mar­gin.

Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice deputy com­mis­sioner Rob Rogers said there had been ex­tremely dry con­di­tions, high­light­ing se­vere rain­fall deficits per­sis­tent across the Great Di­vid­ing Range in Vic­to­ria.

‘‘Forests in these ar­eas may ex­pe­ri­ence sud­den changes in fire ac­tiv­ity with the on­set of warmer or windier weather,’’ he said.

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