Fire season update 2014-15
Monday, 29th June 2015
In some parts of the state, attempts by NSW RFS to reduce fuel loads through hazard reductions have been hindered by high rainfall along the East Coast and floods in the Hunter and North Coast. A forecast for drier than average conditions in some areas over winter may provide opportunities for burning ahead of drier and warmer conditions in spring.
Looking ahead, a major El Niño event, which is likely to lead to prolonged drier, hotter conditions across much of eastern Australia, has been officially declared by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). An El Niño occurs when sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean become substantially warmer than average, causing a shift in atmospheric circulation. BoM reports that the impacts of the event are likely to be felt until autumn next year. This will compound the intense drought conditions already being experienced across a large part of north-western NSW. The severity of the next fire season is also highly likely to be strongly influenced by this El Niño.