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Australia: Elevated bushfire risk during summer months

Bushfire and Natural Hazards research center warns against heightened risk of bushfires during summer months due to particularly dry winter

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/5/2017, 12:00 AM until 9/11/2017, 11:59 PM (Australia/Sydney). COUNTRY/REGION Australia

Event

Australian authorities have warned residents in eastern and southern regions to prepare for a dangerous bushfire season this summer, after the country had one of its driest winters on record. Spring is forecast to be equally dry, prompting fears that fires may begin earlier than usual. The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Co-operative Research Centre (BNHCRC) warned that dry vegetation will act as fuel for fires. In a Hazard Note published on September 5, the BNHCRC forecasts elevated fire risks in all seven Australian states. For more information on localized hazards, please read BNHCRC’s Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Southern and Northern Australia.

Context

During the summer season of 2016-2017, Eastern Australia experienced an intense heatwave, with temperatures reaching record highs in many areas. Highs reached between 44 and 47°C (112°F and 117°F ) in the northeast of South Australia. The intense weather led to total fire bans being implemented across most of southeastern Australia, including in NSW, Australian Capital Territory, and Victoria. Similar measures are to be expected during summer 2017-2018.

Advice

Individuals are advised to remain vigilant and abide by all instructions issued by local authorities. Do not hesitate to contact emergency services if necessary.

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