Australia Summer bushfire outlook warns WA could be worst hit as lack of rainfall leaves dry conditions

15:17  26 november  2020
15:17  26 november  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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Large parts of eastern Australia could be at risk of flooding in what is expected to be a wetter than The outlook also forecasts above average rainfall , especially across the east coast, as an Even short periods of hot and dry weather increase the risk of fire in summer .” He also said that although

The hot and dry weather, which has led to bushfires across the country, shows no signs of abating. The outlook is similar for rainfall , with coastal areas of Western Australia from the midwest to the “ Summer ’s looking particularly dry with high odds of drier -than-average conditions right down the

There is a warning Western Australia's south and south-west coasts are at high risk of bushfires this summer after a lack of rainfall earlier this year.

Areas including the Swan Coastal Plain, Jarrah Forest, Avon Wheatbelt, Warren, Mallee and the Esperance Plains have been identified for greater bushfire potential, based on the weather, fuel loads, recent fire history and available firefighting resources in the area.

The warning has been delivered in this season's bushfire outlook by the Bushfire and Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre (BNHCRC).

BNHCRC research director John Bates said the risk to south-west parts of the state could even mean WA was the worst affected nationally by bushfires this summer.

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Warm and dry winter contributing to summer bushfire risk. Bushfire season tipped to start earlier NSW fire commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said conditions in some areas this year are worse "The vegetation moisture levels today are considerably drier and are showing a worse situation than

Dry heat combined with lack of rain , Australia 's dry season from April to September sees a high chance of fires . Fires on the east coast of the country have spread Very hot and dry conditions with thunderstorms are expected in the coming days - which will pose further risks for the growing bushfires .

"Those are areas, many of them, that were considered to be at higher risk last year as well," he said.

"They were already dry and that dryness has continued."

The bushfire outlook showed that although planned burning and past bushfires had reduced fuel loads across some south-west areas, there were still areas that had experienced a lengthy lack of rainfall.

Those areas included forest and shrubland vegetation that were carrying significant fuel loads with low moisture.

Albany could 'burn exceptionally well'

Chief bushfire control officer at the City of Albany's fire brigade, Gary Duncan, said some people thought recent rains in the area would reduce the risk of bushfires, but that definitely was not the case.

"It'll burn exceptionally well at the moment," he said.

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Many parts of Australia can expect heavy rains and flooding. And northern Australia 's cyclone season is just gearing up. The events will stretch the ability How much worse would the impacts have been ? As we direct resources to coping and recovery from the fires , we should not forget other weather and

More than a hundred bushfires have ripped through Australia in an unusually early and intense fire season, made worse by climate change. Experts told The Verge that under the extreme conditions , there was not much more that firefighters could do until there was enough rainfall to stop the blazes

"The bush is extremely dry because it has been dry for so long that the ground dampness is not there."

Mr Duncan said fuel loads near Albany were actually heavier than normal as well, but the brigade was undergoing all the necessary preparations it could.

While WA could be most affected by bushfires, other states including New South Wales were at risk of serious grass fires, the BNHCRC said.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said more than 90 per cent of WA was bushfire prone and on any average year, 5,000 bushfires were sparked in the state.

He hoped the report reminded West Australians they needed to be vigilant.

"I'd like to think that people would reflect on what occurred last year on the east coast and make sure they're prepared for the bushfire season that's upon us," he said.

Commissioner Klemm said the Darling Range and Wheatbelt regions were of particular concern.

Cyclones, rain storms and flash flooding to batter Queensland

  Cyclones, rain storms and flash flooding to batter Queensland Forecasters warn that La Nina will dampen the state's bushfire season, but create a more intense storm and cyclone season this summer. The Bureau of Meteorology's Laura Boekel is expecting higher than average rainfall to cause higher than average flooding, and more than four cyclones to form in the Coral Sea.'Even though the bushfire season is still ongoing and has affected parts of Queensland, it's a lot less severe than what we saw last year and we are expecting more flooding and more tropical cyclones this season,' she told reporters on Monday.

Fire authorities prepare for a challenging weekend as scorching temperatures and gusty winds create dangerous fire conditions in WA 's south, including Perth which is set to hit "But certainly Saturday the high temperatures and strong wind mean that fire weather conditions are going to be quite bad ."

As bushfires tear through a million hectares along the New South Wales Mid North Coast authorities have warned that the worst is still yet to come and There was no rainfall in the southerly change with warm, dry conditions set to dominate in the days and weeks ahead. 'As we look out a little bit

He said despite a reasonably wet November, there was no room for complacency.

"There's still months ahead in terms of managing bushfire risk," he said.

Dry conditions set to persist

The outlook showed weather conditions this season would be very different to the past two summers, with above average rainfall over much of the country till the end of summer.

The different weather conditions were caused by La Nina which occurs roughly every three to seven years, bringing cooler temperatures and more rain.

But south and south-west WA and southern SA have largely missed out on recent rainfall and forecasters said this pattern was likely to continue in coming months.

The La Nina weather conditions also meant there was an average to above-average chance of tropical cyclones this season, plus an increased chance of flooding, particularly in eastern Australia.

"People really need to start preparing now for the months ahead," Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) head of climate operations Andrew Watkins said.

Dr Watkins said La Nina would dominate the summer season, with conditions forecast to peak in December or January.

It is forecast to result in warmer and more humid nights.

After a heatwave, is Australia ready for more fires? .
This past weekend brought back painful memories of last year’s black summer. © Provided by Crikey It was the first big heatwave of the summer, and the first time since last season’s devastation that widespread high fire danger returned to much of the country. The heatwave also comes just weeks after a royal commission into the bushfires released its final report. With 80 recommendations, it’s given the federal government plenty of pointers about how future bushfires catastrophes could be managed and mitigated.

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