Another Year of Above-Average Fire Risk for Australia
Bushfires are nothing new in the most populous regions of Australia. As cool season rainfall continues to decline and the El Niño in the Pacific strengthens, local residents may experience long-term fire risks.
This El Niño in the Pacific that continues to strengthen is one of the five toughest droughts Australia has experienced in over 100 years. The last big El Niño that hit the country was in 1997, which affected most parts of southern Australia.
What the Reports Say
According to the Southern Australia seasonal bushfire outlook for 2015-16 report, the eastern and western regions at the edge of the country will most likely have an above-average, busier fire season. These areas include the north of Rockhampton in Queensland, stretching to the southeastern region of South Australia, and the majority of Western Australia’s southwestern corner.
Authorities call for heightened fire risk awareness, especially for much of coastal NSW and Otway ranges to the south-west of Melbourne. Specialised fire tanks are more necessary today, which the agents from Rhino Water Tanks say should have an effective capacity that complies with the Australian Standards.
Where Fire Hits Harder
Much of NSW and eastern Victoria now have a normal level of potential bushfire. The late winter rains helped reduce the risks of premature fire season in these areas. But, greater parts and forested areas of the country still suffer from relatively low soil moisture levels due to the series of dry spell years.
There seem to be fewer problems in NSW as the strong clouds and rainfall formation in the Indian Ocean off Australia’s west coast moisten the region. The area of concern, though, is in Victoria, which authorities expect to experience longer dry season and fire risk. Officials suggest not to put off the residents’ fire preparations before Christmas, as incidents mostly occur in January and February.
Bushfires are among the most devastating calamities that can hit a region. But, with proper preparation and sufficient water stock ready, residents can minimise damages this coming fire season.