News from the CRC

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2014 North Australia Bushfire Seasonal Outlook
2014 North Australia Bushfire Seasonal Outlook

Fire potential for northern Australia

Patchy areas of northern Australia face the prospect of an above normal bushfire season this year, due to above average rainfall in the months leading up to the main fire season.

The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Northern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for the Northern Territory, and northern Queensland and Western Australia, shows a mixed prospect mainly due to the high rainfall in most areas but an extended dry period across central and into southern Queensland.

The bushfire risk is greatest for the north west Northern Territory, parts of central Queensland and the Gulf Plains and the central region of northern Western Australia. These conditions are due to a strong monsoo season, which included several tropical cyclones. This bursts of wet weather followed by long exposure to sunshine was ideal for vegetation growth.

This bushfire outlook is an output from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, which brings together fire and land managers from across Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology each year to discuss fire potential across the country.

This Bushfire Outlook provides information to assist fire authorities in making strategic decisions such as resource planning and prescribed fire management, and to reduce the negative impacts of bushfire.

The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC is continuing the role begun by the Bushfire CRC as the convener of the meetings to discuss the seasonal outlooks and as the distributor of the final outlook.

A Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for southern Australia will be distributed in early September, and will include an update on the northern fire season.

The annual Northern Australian Fire Managers’ Group Forum, chaired by Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC CEO Richard Thornton, met in Broome in July.  During the two-day proceedings the Forum discussed the seasonal outlook for the imminent fire season, enabling the production of this Hazard Note. All other presentations from the Forum are online

Forum attendees included representatives of the Bureau of Meteorology, Bushfires NT, the NT Fire and Rescue Service, the WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services, the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife, Queensland Rural Fire Service, Charles Darwin University, University of Western Australia, Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation and Kimberley Land Council.

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