Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

300 Fires in Two Months; and Grim Outlook Ahead

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

300 Fires in Two Months; and Grim Outlook Ahead

Article excerpt

Byline: Jasmine Burke Jasmine.Burke@northernstar.com.au

THREE hundred.

That's around how many fire incidents have occurred in the Northern Rivers since July 1, and things aren't predicted to get better with a grim outlook for the fire season ahead.

NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) said with much of southern Australia experiencing a combination of above average temperatures and below average rainfall this year, large parts of the country face above normal bushfire potential over the coming months.

The Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2018 shows the warmer and drier than average weather over recent months, combined with the forecasts for spring, suggest the whole of the east coast in NSW is expecting above-normal fire potential - and that is forested country where the most people live.

The Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2018 is used by fire authorities to make strategic decisions on resource planning and prescribed fire management for the upcoming fire season.

RFS Superintendent Boyd Townsend they could "reasonably rely" on such forecasts most years but things could always turn out differently.

But he said at this stage it's holding fairly true.

He said the recent rain event was only a small amount of rainfall and was a very coastal event.

"Whilst it has given us some respite, without significant follow up we will be back to a similar dry situation within a week or two," Supt Townsend said.

"Given that forecast, the Northern Rivers area is issuing permits in a very limited way.

"It's still dry out there."

He said the amount of incidents since July 1 in the Northern Rivers was double what they would normally see over the local government areas of Lismore, Kyogle and Richmond Valley.

"Everyone needs to be aware of the fact we could be walking into a further dangerous fire season," he said. …

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