Fire Season Update: June 2022
Thursday, 23rd June 2022
The end of March saw the end of the official bush fire danger period for 2021/22. While the season was dominated by rain, NSW RFS reported almost 5,500 bush and grass fires and more than 100,000 hectares of land burnt since 1 July 2021.
NSW had its wettest autumn since 1990. In a pattern emulating last year, heavy rainfall saw widespread and destructive flooding across the State. NSW RFS have been heavily involved in providing flood relief and assistance to communities across NSW in areas impacted.
Despite the wet weather, Australia also experienced one of the top three warmest autumns on record. As a result of the continuing above average rainfall and warm conditions, large areas of NSW have seen good growing conditions and continue to have high grass fuel loads. Some winter crop projections are also expected to be significantly above the 10-year average. As northern parts of NSW commence their fire seasons in late winter and early spring, it is important to remember that if fires do occur in dry grass with high fuel loads they will be high intensity and fast moving. Fuel loads and fire danger continue to be monitored closely.
For more information refer to the Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook: Winter 2022 https://www.afac.com.au/auxiliary/publications/newsletter/article/seasonal-bushfire-outlook-winter-2022
Agencies will continue to conduct prescribed burns where conditions allow. However, if conditions are unsuitable to achieving prescriptions planned burns may be postponed as proceeding could be unsafe, fail to reduce the risks or damage the environment. While Fire Safety Permits are generally not required outside of the Bush Fire Danger Period, other types of permits you may require vary from area to area, such as in Fire and Rescue NSW jurisdiction, or Local Government Clean Air regulations. Your local Fire Control Centre can assist with requirements specific to your area: http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/about-us/fcc
If you’re planning to burn on your property and have the necessary approvals in place, don’t forget to notify your neighbours and local fire agency at least 24hrs ahead. You can notify the RFS of your activity online at https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fire-permits/burn-notifications
This year Get Ready Weekend will be 17-18 September. Keep an eye out for what your local brigade might be doing or grab a neighbour, and a cuppa and revisit your Hotspots property plans together before the next fire season.
The current climate outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/outlooks/#/overview/summary, issued 16 June forecasts the potential for development of a negative Indian Ocean Dipole over the winter months. This, in conjunction with a weakening La Niña–like state in the Pacific Ocean, and warmer sea surface temperatures around northern Australia, suggests above average winter – spring rainfall is likely to continue over much of the country.
In the July – September period there is an increased chance of unusually low maximum temperatures across Northern and western NSW, however minimum temperatures are very likely to be warmer than median for the eastern two thirds of the country.
For more information on the weather outlook across NSW visit http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/