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You only need to read the headlines to know that the bushfire outlook for many parts of Australia is full of warnings.
"Predictions of ‘worst bushfire season in years’ puts NSW on alert"
"Above normal bushfire risk for the ACT this summer"
Bushfire outlook: Warm, dry winter ratchets up threat level ahead of summer fire season
"Tasmania Fire Service warns of early start to bushfire season"
"Bushfire outlook delivers warning for state’s south and east"
... and there are plenty more.
With most of Australia experiencing a combination of above average temperatures and below average rainfall over winter, large parts of the country face above normal bushfire potential for the fire season.
The warmer and drier than average weather over recent months, combined with the forecasts for spring, suggest that the southern fire season is likely to commence earlier than usual and be more active than normal.
The four months from May to August saw below average to record dry conditions for most of southern Australia. August has seen somewhat better rainfall in some southern areas, particularly in the far south west of Western Australia and across parts of South Australia and Victoria, but this rainfall has not been sufficient to compensate for earlier dry conditions. New South Wales and southern parts of Queensland have remained unusually dry, meaning that rainfall deficiencies have continued to expand across these states
The Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2017 shows the most at risk areas.
Fire season potential depends on several factors. The amount, location and timing of rainfall in the period leading up to the fire season are critically important for estimating fuel loads and dryness. The temperature and rainfall outlooks for the next few months are crucial factors for influencing the development of fire threat.
Homeowners, farmers and landowners are being urged to revisit their fire safety plan with their family or if they don’t have one, take the time now to discuss what you’ll do during a fire,
Fire safety is dependent on preparedness; the more prepared you are for a bushfire, the better your chances of survival. The middle of a bush fire is no time to start thinking about what you should do. Having a Bush Fire Survival Plan will help you avoid making last minute decisions that could be deadly.
Do you have enough insurance? If you suffered a total loss — if a fire came through and destroyed your sheds, fences, equipment, crops, livestock and your home — would you have enough coverage to start over?
You can refer to WFI’s top tips to make sure you’ve got enough insurance coverage before the bushfire season commences.