Normal bushfire potential is expected in Victoria this spring, except for parts of central and eastern Victoria where the potential is below-normal, according to the Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Spring released today.
The outlook suggests that parts of south-west Victoria have experienced below average rainfall over recent months which may lead to some forests being drier than normal.
Parts of the Wimmera are experiencing drying conditions, however average rainfall is expected until late in spring.
Forests in the Wimmera and the south-west may become drier with the forecast of higher than average day and night temperatures, potentially increasing the fire risk in those areas.
Victoria’s eastern and north-east ranges experienced above average rainfall over the last 12 months, and coupled with above average rainfall outlook, below-average fire danger is expected in these areas. Rainfall in June has offset drier than average conditions in west Gippsland.
Although recent drying is evident across some parts of the eastern ranges, it is expected to be offset by the forecast of a wetter than average spring, with further rainfall expected.
The Bureau of Meteorology has also forecast above median rainfall through spring, with the period August to October likely to be above median for the northern part of Victoria.
Burnt areas from the 2018-19 and 2019-20 fire seasons will experience below normal fire risk in eastern Victoria.
While it has been a favourable start to the 2022-23 winter cropping season this may result in extra grass and crop growth, leading to increased fire potential later in spring, as these fuels dry out.
Country Fire Authority Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said Victoria is one of the most bushfire-prone areas in the world and even a normal fire season can present the risk of dangerous fires.
“Prepare your property ahead of this year’s fire season to minimise the chance of damage during a fire, even if you plan to leave early," he said.
“Make sure you and everyone in your household knows what to do on hot, dry and windy days when fires can start and spread quickly.”
The quarterly national Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Spring (September to November) is developed by Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), the Bureau of Meteorology and state fire service agencies. AFAC is the national council for fire and emergency services.
The full outlook is available here.