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Risky fire season forecast

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September 13, 2017

Victoria could be in for a riskier than average summer fire season according to the latest data in the seasonal bushfire outlook released last Tuesday.

Victoria could be in for a riskier than average summer fire season according to the latest data in the seasonal bushfire outlook released last Tuesday.

Seymour Fire Brigade captain Bart Chanloup said the CFA would need to wait for further forecasts before they could determine whether or not there was any increased risk locally.

The Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook, developed by the Bureau of Meteorology with fire and land managers, is used by emergency services to make strategic decisions about fire management and preparedness.

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said the outlook was an early indication of what Victoria could expect this summer.

‘‘The severity of the fire season will depend on a number of factors, including the amount, location and timing of rain in the months leading up to summer,’’ he said.

‘‘The early forecast shows there is underlying dryness in some areas of the state, particularly across central parts of Victoria and across the east.’’

Mr Lapsley said that while currently there is a lot of surface water, which is great for crop growing, ground moisture has the potential to dry out quickly.

‘‘The level of risk in the October to December period will still depend on how much spring rain there is in September,’’ Mr Lapsley said.

Mr Lapsley said summer season preparations across emergency management agencies were well under way.

Emergency Management Victoria recommends communities begin their fire prevention works early and plan ahead.

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