Above-nor­mal fire sea­son fore­cast for Vic­to­ria

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page -

Con­di­tions in Vic­to­ria ap­pear likely to in­crease the risk of an above nor­mal fire sea­son, with a po­ten­tially ear­lier start in some parts of the state ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Sea­sonal Bush­fire Out­look.

The South­ern Aus­tralia Sea­sonal Bush­fire Out­look, de­vel­oped by the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy with fire and land man­agers was re­leased on Septem­ber 5.

The out­look is used by emer­gency man­age­ment agen­cies to make strate­gic de­ci­sions about the sum­mer sea­son, in­clud­ing fire pre­pared­ness.

Emer­gency Man­age­ment Com­mis­sioner Craig Lap­s­ley said the out­look was an early in­di­ca­tion of what Vic­to­ria could ex­pect in the sum­mer sea­son.

“The sever­ity of the fire sea­son will de­pend on a num­ber of fac­tors, in­clud­ing the amount, lo­ca­tion and tim­ing of rain in the months lead­ing up to sum­mer,” he said.

“The early fore­cast shows there is un­der­ly­ing dry­ness in some ar­eas of the state, par­tic­u­larly across cen­tral parts of Vic­to­ria and across the east.

“While there is a lot of sur­face wa­ter, which means there will be grass growth and a healthy sup­ply of wa­ter for crop grow­ing, ground mois­ture has the po­ten­tial to dry out quickly un­der dry and warm con­di­tions.

“The level of risk in the Oc­to­ber to De­cem­ber pe­riod will still de­pend on how much spring rain there is in Septem­ber.”

Mr Lap­s­ley said sum­mer sea­son prepa­ra­tions across emer­gency man­age­ment agen­cies were well un­der­way.

“Pre-sea­son brief­ings for emer­gency man­age­ment per­son­nel will be­gin to roll­out across Vic­to­ria so our peo­ple un­der­stand the sea­sonal out­look, know the risks, are pre­pared to re­spond to emer­gen­cies, work­ing with our com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

“It’s im­por­tant that the com­mu­nity also be­gins their fire pre­ven­tion works, plan early and act early.

“Use all of Septem­ber, Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber to get ready and pre­pare your prop­er­ties, your­self and your fam­ily.”

Mr Lap­s­ley said For­est Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria and the CFA had brought for­ward pre­pared­ness ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing the spring planned burn­ing pro­gram.

“For spring, ef­forts will fo­cus on re­duc­ing risk in the North East, North­ern Coun­try, North Cen­tral, the Mallee and the far South West dis­tricts,” he said.

“We are in this to­gether - govern­ment, agen­cies, com­mu­ni­ties and busi­ness - and go into the sum­mer sea­son know­ing we work best when we work col­lab­o­ra­tively as a strong, ca­pa­ble sec­tor with a fo­cus on the best out­comes for the com­mu­ni­ties we serve.”

The South­ern Aus­tralia Sea­sonal Bush­fire Out­look is pub­lished by the Bush­fire and Nat­u­ral Haz­ards CRC and the Aus­tralasian Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices Au­thor­i­ties Coun­cil (AFAC).

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