26 September 2023

Official bushfire season on way for summer

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The ACT’s bushfire season officially began on Monday (31 October) with Canberrans reminded to familiarise themselves with the new fire danger rating system and plan for days of increased fire risk.

Encouraging the community to brush up on its bushfire safety knowledge, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mick Gentleman said while the start of this year’s bushfire season may have been delayed because of high rainfall and the La Nina weather pattern, summer was nearly here.

“This season we are pleased to be using the new Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS), which has been introduced in all Australian jurisdictions to provide nationally consistent information on bushfire risk,” Mr Gentleman said.

“The new system, which includes updated roadside warning signs, will mean that no matter where you are in Australia, you will see and hear the same descriptions around fire risk and know what to do,” he said.

“I encourage all Canberrans to take the time now to understand the new fire danger rating system and make a plan for days of elevated fire risk.”

Emergency Services Agency Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said the community should remain vigilant and alert and understand the risks in their area this season.

“With the recent rainfall, we anticipate the bushfire risk will remain low throughout November and December,” Commissioner Whelan said.

“However, when the weather warms up, we will see the grass begin to dry out, bringing an increased risk of fast-moving grass fires.”

ACT Rural Fire Service Chief Officer Rohan Scott said Canberrans planning on travelling over the holiday season should stay up to date with the latest weather information both for where they were travelling to and the areas they would pass through on the way.

“If you’re staying home, take the time to complete or update your Survival Plan and make sure everyone in your household understands it,” CO Scott said.

“Clearing material that can burn from around your home, trimming trees and shrubs and preparing your home emergency kit are also critical steps in preparing for the high-risk season.”

Further information on the AFDRS can be accessed at this PS News link and the Emergency Survival Plan at this link.

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