The latest Bushfire and Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre report shows the Gympie region is likely to have similar fire season to last years, in contrast to the rest of Australia which should catch a break.
The latest Bushfire and Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre report shows the Gympie region is likely to have similar fire season to last years, in contrast to the rest of Australia which should catch a break.

Why the Gympie region’s impending fire season looks bad

A LESS severe bushfire threat in Australia is unlikely to make it to Gympie, with the latest outlook predicting this Spring’s season will look a lot like last year’s around the region.

Gympie is one of several regions in the country which are listed as having an “above normal fire potential” over the next three months, the Bushfire and Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre says.

The majority of these areas were in Queensland, which sat in stark contrast to the rest of the country and its “normal” outlook.

Last year most of the eastern seaboard was classified as “above normal”; it was eventually scorched by one of the worst fire seasons in Australia’s history.

Increased rainfall is expected this Spring, but the region’s ongoing drought conditions pose a serious problem to the fire threat.
Increased rainfall is expected this Spring, but the region’s ongoing drought conditions pose a serious problem to the fire threat.

The BNHCRC report says this year’s fire season is being driven by vastly different climate conditions.

“With a La Niña alert now active, large areas of eastern and northern Australia are expecting wetter than average conditions through spring,” the report says.

Some parts of Queensland, including the Gympie region, are still lagging behind the changes needed for a return to normal.

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“The major climate drivers are favouring a wetter than normal spring across most of Queensland,” the report says.

Unlike the most of Australia, Gympie’s fireys are expected to once again be faced with an “above normal” bushfire season. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times
Unlike the most of Australia, Gympie’s fireys are expected to once again be faced with an “above normal” bushfire season. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times

“If this rainfall eventuates there is potential for the bushfire season to be milder

than the previous two seasons.

“However, if widespread rain does not eventuate, above normal bushfire potential in forested areas in South East Queensland and some central coast areas extending north is likely.

“The South East, bounded by Rockhampton to the NSW border south of Cunnumulla, and

extending to the coast, has seen significantly below average rainfall over the past 12 to

24 months.

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“As a result, most of this area is experiencing significant drought. Twelve month rainfall deficiencies have also persisted along much of the state’s east coast.”

It turns out there is a possible downside if wetter weather does make an appearance.

“While these wetter conditions in eastern Australia will help in the short-term, they may lead to an increase in the risk of fast running fires in grasslands and cropping areas over summer,” the report says.

“These conditions will be monitored closely over the coming months.”

Gympie Times


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