While winter has only just officially ended, fire authorities are urging residents to start preparing for the fire season ahead, warning that conditions suggest it will be a longer and more active season, according to the Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook.
Released last week, the outlook is developed by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre with Bureau of Meteorology and relevant state fire and land managers. While the outlook is predicting normal bushfire potential in central Victoria, local authorities are saying they are concerned about the upcoming season.
Forest Fire Management Victoria Murray Goldfields district manager Paul Bates said in central Victoria, the region is particularly dry, with soil moistures in some areas looking like they would during summer, rather than the end of winter.
“What we’re looking at is a fire season that will start earlier than what people would be used to,” he said.
“That, coupled with a drier and warmer than average weather forecast, we’re looking at a long fire season and potentially larger, fast moving fires given how dry the whole landscape is.
“It’s years like this that authorities do become more concerned because there is that potential summer season of high to severe fire danger.”
For more on this story see the Front Page of The Advertiser, Tuesday, September 11.