The Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC) released the Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for the summer of 2023 on Thursday, 30 November 2023.
The AFAC is urging communities, businesses, and individuals to prepare for bushfire threats as large chunks of eastern, central, and northern NSW are expected to have an increased fire risk this summer.
This is caused by the ongoing drought and a forecast of possible warmer-than-average temperatures; the seasonal outlook indicated due to the spring’s below-normal rainfall and above-average temperatures, soils, forest fuels, and grasses dried out rapidly.
“Given the current drought, potential rainfall evaporation in hot weather, and large areas having [the] potential to carry fire, there is a significant risk of above normal fire potential across large parts of NSW,” the report indicated.
In the last Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Spring 2023, large sections of Northern and Central NSW and parts of the coasts were expected to have an increased fire risk.
In mid-September this year, the Bureau of Meteorology declared the onset of El Niño along with the discovery of a positive Indian Ocean Dipole, which resulted in a drier Australia.
Australasian Fire Authorities Council CEO Rob Webb mentioned the increased bushfire risk “makes it even more important for Australians to take action.”
“Wherever you live, work or visit this summer, know where to find bushfire information, prepare your property, and talk to your family and friends about what you will do in an emergency,” the AFAC CEO said.
The Season Outlook for the summer of 2023 was developed by the Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, the NSW Rural Fire Service, ACT Emergency Services Agency, ACT Parks and Conservation Service, Country Fire Authority, Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action Victoria, Tasmania Fire Service, SA Country Fire Service, Department of Fire and Emergency Services and Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions WA, Bushfires NT and AFAC.