26 September 2023

Autumn fires still on the bushfire plate

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Prescribed burns to mitigate bushfire risks are to continue in Canberra’s Autumn with the National Council for Fire & Emergency Services’ (AFAC) predicting normal and below normal fire potential across the Territory.

Releasing its Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Autumn 2023, AFAC said that due to the influence of La Niña, good rainfall had been received across the ACT during spring and summer.

“The forecast return to neutral El Niño–Southern Oscillation conditions is expected to bring near average rainfall and daytime temperatures during March to May,” AFAC said.

“Normal fire potential for autumn is expected for our grasslands, however below normal fire potential is expected for forested areas given an increased fuel moisture from good rainfall received over spring and summer,” it said.

“Given the return to neutral climate conditions, fire agencies and land managers will undertake prescribed burning when conditions allow.”

Responding to the report, the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ACT ESA) said land managers from the Agency and the ACT Parks and Conservation Service had conducted several prescribed burns across the Territory in recent weeks.

It said this activity was expected to continue into Autumn to continually manage fuel loads across Canberra.

AFAC said grassland areas were likely to allow for prescribed burning sooner than forest areas.

It said ACT residents could monitor prescribed burns that were being planned and undertaken through the ACT ESA and Parks and Conservation Service’s websites or the Fires Near Me App.

AFAC’s five-page Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Autumn 2023 can be accessed at this PS News link.

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