DRY PUTS FIRIES ON RED ALERT
NORTH Queensland firefighters are bracing for a busy bushfire season with the latest outlook suggesting parts of the region will experience severe conditions.
The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre ( CRC) released the Northern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook this week, with assessments indicating above normal fire potential for parts of northern and northwest Queensland.
The assessment shows an area stretching from Kowanyama south to about Boulia and west to the Queensland- Northern Territory border.
The region, which includes Cloncurry and Mount Isa, is considered at risk of an above normal fire season.
Overall, substantial parts of the region also received well below average rainfall, including Townsville.
“Areas around Townsville, central and western Cape York Peninsula and the southern coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria continue to experience severe rainfall deficiencies,” Rural Fire Service Queensland ( RFSQ) Acting Northern Regional Manager Gavin Fryar said.
“This lack of rain, coupled with an official El Niño declaration means there is the real potential for this bushfire season to be a busy period for our firefighters.
Queensland’s bushfire season officially starts on August 1.
Mr Fryar said residents should use the remaining time to reduce the fire risks on their properties and ensure their Bushfire Survival Plan was up to date.
“Some areas are more at risk than others but nobody can afford to be complacent about bushfire preparation,” he said.
The fire danger rating in the Herbert and Lower Burdekin is expected to remain “high” for the next few days at least, with no rain on the horizon.
Inland frosts are also expected to cause further curing of already tinderdry grasses out west.