Early start to the ACT bushfire season

21 Aug, 2018

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Bushfire season will start one month early in the ACT due to prevailing dry conditions.

The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) has declared that bushfire season will begin one month early - on 1 September 2018 - due to forecast dry conditions.

Traditionally, the bushfire season commences on 1 October and runs through until 31 March, unless conditions warrant a variation. After assessment of the current conditions and consideration of forecast weather, the ESA Commissioner has made the decision to start the ACT bushfire season early.

The Bureau of Meteorology has advised a predicted El Niño event may produce hotter and drier conditions as we head into summer and unless the future outlook starts to suggest a different situation, predicted elevated risks to the ACT from heatwave, wildfire and dust storms are likely.

All Canberrans should ensure they understand Fire Danger Rating (FDR) levels to help them make decisions when travelling in and around the ACT. From 1 September 2018, the ESA will update the FDR daily, which is displayed on electronic signs on all major arterial roads across the ACT, as well as on the home page of the ESA website.

In addition, people living in Bushfire Prone Areas (BPA) should download a Bushfire Survival Plan from the ESA website, fill it in and have a discussion with their family about what they will do in the event of a fire.

During the bushfire season, rural landowners and managers must obtain a free permit from the ACT Rural Fire Service before conducting hazard reduction burns. To apply for a permit contact 6207 8609, or send an email request to rfs@act.gov.au.

You can check if you live in a BPA, download information about FDR levels and bushfire warnings, and find fact sheets on preparing for the bushfire season via the ESA website www.esa.act.gov.au.

Photo thanks to Gungahlin Rural Fire Brigade.
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