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THE ACT can expect an above normal bushfire risk this summer following an assessment of the local landscape and extended weather forecast data. landscape and extended weather forecast data.
ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) Commissioner Dominic Lane today joined his fire agency colleagues from across the country at the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) in Sydney for the release of the “Southern Seasonal Bushfire Outlook”.
“Our upper soils in the ACT are drier than average at the moment after several months of fairly consistent dry weather,” Mr Lane said.
“As the official outlook notes, the forest fuels in the ACT are drier than usual for this time of year. Frost curing of grasslands has been above average over winter and due to the prolonged frost period, a greater than average area has been affected.
“The Bureau of Meteorology advise us to only expect average to slightly above average rainfall to at least November. This means the ACT will not receive enough rain during this period to recover from the lack of rain during the winter months.”
The outlook for the area immediately surrounding the ACT is the same.
“The ESA will continue to monitor the conditions as summer approaches. At this stage the declared bushfire season in the ACT will begin on October 1. The ACT government is well advanced with preparations including our ongoing hazard reduction burning program, targeted grazing and pre-season training and checks by our ACT Rural Fire Service brigades across the territory,” Mr Lane said.
“I also encourage the Canberra community to start preparing for the bushfire season now instead of waiting for bushfires to arrive. This includes: filling in a Bushfire Survival Plan with your family or household; preparing your property to reduce the potential impact from a bushfire: and making sure you know where to get up to date information during a bushfire.”
Bushfire Survival Plan can be downloaded at esa.act.gov.au