Changes to late Spring weather conditions have created a revised outlook for fire hazards across the summer months.
The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Co-operative Research Centre (BNHCRC) released its Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2016-17: November Update noting an increased risk of bushfires across much of Australia and particularly Victoria.
Above average rainfall in the last six months – in some areas the highest level on record – has created “close to ideal growing conditions for crops and pasture”, which has also contributed to much higher levels of grass fuel.
As temperatures warm, this grass will dry, increasing the risk.
The report suggests an “above normal bushfire season” is likely for much of the state.
The state government has also released a new VicEmergency app and VicEmergency Hotline available through 1800 226 226, bringing together services from the Victorian Bushfire Information Line, the Victorian Relief and Recovery Information Line and the VICSES Flood and Storm Information Line.
The VicEmergency app replaces the existing FireReady app and provides warning and incident notifications for a variety of emergencies.
The app is available at Emergency Management Victoria’s website.