Wet start to spring but normal fire conditions likely

24 August 2022
Seasonal bushfire outlook for spring shows a map of Australia and highlights the fire potential for each area

Normal bushfire potential is expected in Victoria this spring, except for parts of central and eastern Victoria where the potential is below-normal, according to the Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Spring.

The outlook, released today, suggests that parts of south-west Victoria have experienced below average rainfall over recent months, which may lead to some forests being drier than normal.

Parts of the Wimmera are experiencing drying conditions, but average rainfall is expected until late in spring.

Forests in the Wimmera and the south-west may become drier with the forecast of higher than average day and night temperatures, potentially increasing the fire risk in those areas.

Victoria’s eastern and north-east ranges experienced above average rainfall over the last 12 months, which is expected to continue in spring, resulting in below-average fire danger expected in these areas. Rainfall in June has offset drier than average conditions in west Gippsland.

Although recent drying is evident across some parts of the eastern ranges, it is expected to be offset by a wetter than average spring, with further rainfall expected.

The Bureau of Meteorology has also forecast above average rainfall through spring, with the period August to October likely to be above average for the northern part of Victoria.

Burnt areas from the 2018-19 and 2019-20 fire seasons will experience below normal fire risk in eastern Victoria.

The favourable start to the 2022-23 winter cropping season may result in extra grass and crop growth, leading to increased fire potential later in spring, as these fuels dry out.

The quarterly national Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Spring (September to November) is developed by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), the Bureau of Meteorology and state fire service agencies. AFAC is the national council for fire and emergency services.

Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp said “This spring outlook gives us an early indication of what Victoria could expect over the higher-risk weather season and will be updated later in the year as predictions firm up.”

“The emergency management sector undertakes significant planning and preparedness activities, informed by seasonal outlooks, to ensure that our emergency services are ready to respond to bushfires, floods, storms and other emergencies.”

“Emergency management is a shared responsibility with our communities, and it’s important that Victorians do their part too – think about what you will do to prepare for and respond to a potential fire, flood or storm.”

To read the full Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for spring, visit the AFAC website. (External link)