Australians should be preparing for a vastly different bushfire season as the effects of La Niña are felt across the country, according to the Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook: December 2020 – February 2020.

Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said that Australian’s should remain cautious this summer as these types of fires are fast moving and can spread rapidly when fanned by strong winds.

“These conditions mean that our communities should be continuing to come together to prepare for the risks facing us over the coming summer,” Littleproud said.

The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (BNHCRC) published its seasonal bushfire outlook, finding that grass and crop fires are an area of concern over the summer months.

“While the south east and north west of the country have experienced much needed rain, this has led to grass growth, which will dry out as it gets warmer.”

“On the other hand, Western Australia has missed out on this rainfall and conditions are set to be very dry. The east coast will also need to stay alert as normal fire conditions are still expected for much of the forested areas. While last year’s fires burnt through millions of hectares, there is significant area that was not burnt.”

The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook: December 2020 – February 2020 will be used by fire authorities to make strategic decisions such as resource planning and prescribed fire management to reduce the negative impacts of bushfire.

“It is extremely important that you are prepared and have an evacuation plan, and to think about what you need to take with you,” Littleproud said.

The BNHCRC Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook: December 2020 – February 2020 can be found  on their website.