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No respite for southern regions on fire risk

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While southeast Queensland and north NSW have had their seasonal bushfire risk downgraded to “normal” due to heavy rainfall, southern regions have not been so lucky, according to the Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook’s November update.

A warmer than average winter, coupled with low rainfall, means a higher than average risk of bushfire, and a possible La Nina is not expected to ease conditions.

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a late-forming, weak La Nina, but is not expecting the usual accompanying rainfall.

Bushfire & Natural Hazards Co-operative Research Council CEO Richard Thornton told people in high-risk areas in southern Australia must remain vigilant.

“Just because it’s La Nina doesn’t mean there will be a low risk of fire,” he said. “The insurance sector needs to communicate the level of risk in those areas.

“We had a very warm winter and very low rainfall in those areas [southern Australia], so there has been a drying out of the subsoil.”

To see the updated bushfire potential map, click here.