Above normal fire potential forecast for Western Tasmania for Summer 2022

The national summer bushfire outlook has now been released, and while much of Tasmania is anticipated to have ‘normal’ fire potential, parts of western Tasmania are forecast as ‘above normal’.

Tasmania Fire Service Chief Officer Dermot Barry said parts of the southwest have been drier than the rest of the state for some time.

“This scenario continued during spring and is forecast to persist through summer,” he said.

“These long-term moisture deficits coupled with forecast below average rainfall and above average temperatures will bring forward the fire danger period in parts of western Tasmania.”

“The flammability of peat soils, moorlands, scrubs, and heaths are predicted to be greater than normal in these areas.”

“This means there is ‘above normal’ fire potential in western Tasmania.  Lightning strikes in these areas may ignite fires which could be difficult to control.”

“In contrast, above average spring rainfall into the east of Tasmania has significantly increased soil moisture.  With La Niña conditions forecast to persist into early 2023, rainfall is expected to be above average, keeping fuels moister than normal and delaying the curing of grasses in some areas.  The fire potential for some parts of the east of Tasmania is therefore expected to be ‘below normal’.

“With much of Tasmania expected to have ‘normal’ fire potential over summer, we need everyone to be prepared for bushfires.”

“With recent rainy days, it can be easy for people to become complacent about the threat, but we know bushfires will occur in Tasmania over the coming months – because that is normal for our state during the summer months, particularly on days of High Fire Danger.”

“When grassy fuel types begin to dry out in January, we can expect fast moving grass fires to occur.”

“Now is the time for all Tasmanians to develop and practice bushfire survival plans, clean up yards and gutters, and remove flammable waste from around the home to create a defendable space.”

“The best defence against bushfires is knowing your risk and preparing accordingly.”

“Tasmania Fire Service has implemented the Australian Fire Danger Rating System and Tasmanians should check the fire danger rating of their area regularly at fire.tas.gov.au”

“Fire danger ratings describe the potential level of danger a community could face should a bushfire start.”

“The ratings aim to give people clear and easy to follow information that will help them to make decisions on how to be prepared and stay safe.”

There are four levels of fire danger rating: 

  • Moderate (green) – Plan and prepare 
  • High (yellow) – Be ready to act 
  • Extreme (orange) – Take action now to protect life and property 
  • Catastrophic (red) – For your survival, leave bushfire risk areas. 

 For more information, visit fire.tas.gov.au

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