26 September 2023

Fire fighters to follow AFAC to fires

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The National Council for fire and emergency services, AFAC (the Australasian Fire And Emergency Services Authorities Council) has released its seasonal bushfire outlook for the Autumn period.

According to the outlook, Australia’s recent climate has been influenced by several weather drivers favouring wetter-than-average conditions in many locations.

AFAC said the outlooks for autumn suggest a change to drier conditions, with much of the country likely to see below-average rainfall and normal to above-normal temperatures.

With regard to South Australia, AFAC said it expected above-average rainfall across most of the State in January to have reduced the immediate risk of intense bushfires in forest areas, however the impact of above-average rainfall in the last quarter of 2022 was largely reduced due to the intensification of evaporation.

“The forecast outlook for autumn suggests that vigilance against fire risk will need to continue throughout autumn with ongoing slightly above average temperatures and below average rainfall,” AFAC said.

“This is particularly for the lower Yorke Peninsula, southern coastal areas and the mid-north of the State,” it said.

AFAC said that Grassland conditions remain the greatest concern for SA, with forest areas expected to remain at reduced risk throughout autumn.

“Communities, particularly in rural and regional areas, will face threats from fast-moving, intense grassfires in high-growth areas if significant fire weather returns,” it said.

“Recent fires, whilst they have been contained quickly, have burned at a higher intensity than expected, meaning it remains too early to suggest the fire season risks have reduced significantly.

“As forest areas continue to dry out, and without further rain, the risk will become broader across all fuel types for the remainder of the SA fire danger season,” the Council said.

The Council’s full 5-page report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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