Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2023

Published:
Thursday, 30 November 2023 at 4:25 am

Victoria preparing for a hot, dry summer. 

Victoria is facing an increased risk of fires in western and central Victoria this summer, according to the AFAC Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Summer.

Victoria’s emergency management sector is continuing its preparedness for the high-risk weather season and Victorians are being urged to actively prepare too.

While it has been cold and still wet in some parts of the state, it is time for individuals, families and communities to prepare their properties ahead of summer.

The Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Summer gives a national picture of the likelihood of an increased number of fires over the summer months.

A wet three years followed by a very dry winter and spring has led to above-normal fuel in western and central Victoria and along the Surf Coast leading to increased fire potential.

High levels of forest growth in areas across Gippsland have also become dry and may pose a fire risk later in the summer.

The rest of the state is facing normal fire risk. On hot, dry and windy days, fires are possible as areas dry out.

Victoria remains well prepared for the potential of fires, with a mix of water bombing aircraft, air supervision and air intelligence gathering aircraft positioned across the state. 

These support thousands of dedicated volunteers and career firefighters on the ground, trucks, heavy machinery and plant equipment.

For the first time in Victoria, communities can also create a fire plan online, customised to their needs and sharable with family and friends.

The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Summer is developed by AFAC, the National Council for fire and emergency services and supported by the Bureau of Meteorology along with state and territory fire and land managers.

It’s important for communities to understand their local risks. Keep up to date with the Fire Danger Ratings on the VicEmergency App and VicEmergency website. Make a via plan via the new Online Fire Planner.

Quotes attributable to Emergency Management Commissioner, Rick Nugent:

“We’ve already seen concurrent and converging emergencies over the past few months, reminding us that it’s important to remain prepared for all types of emergencies this summer.

“Our emergency services will continue to monitor any changes in conditions but it’s important for communities to understand their risk and have a plan in place in the event of a fire.
“Never rely on one source of emergency information. 

Download the VicEmergency app and tune in to your local emergency broadcaster.”

Quotes attributable to Country Fire Authority Chief Officer, Jason Heffernan:

“While Victorians can expect fire risk in the coming months to be above-average across south-western and central Victoria, rest assured, they will be well-protected this fire season.

“Alongside our interagency partners, CFA crews across the state have been working closely with their local areas and brigade members to ensure we are best prepared for the proposed conditions.

“While we’re ready to respond and support communities as we do every year, now is the time for Victorians to prepare their families, and their property and review their Bushfire Survival Plan.”

Quotes attributable to Forest Fire Management Victoria Acting Chief Fire Officer, Sam Quigley:

“Preparing for a Victorian summer takes a lot of planning. That’s why Forest Fire Management Victoria is focused on planning and delivering our bushfire risk management program across more than eight million hectares of public land.

“Victoria will always have bushfires, and with the onset of hot, dry and windy conditions, we want our communities to know that when a bushfire starts, we are ready to respond with more than 3,000 personnel working alongside our emergency sector partners.”

Quotes attributable to Fire Rescue Commissioner, Gavin Freeman:

“Fire Rescue Victoria stands ready to support our colleagues across the emergency services sector this summer, particularly the Country Fire Authority and Forest Fire Management Victoria."

“I urge anyone living in or spending time in or near bush and grasslands this summer to monitor weather conditions and have a plan for high-risk days."

“Ensure your family is ready for an emergency - make or review your Bushfire Survival Plan, prepare your property now and know which information channels work for you.”

Quotes attributable to Victoria State Emergency Service, Chief Officer Tim Wiebusch:

“Our message for this high-risk season is to always be prepared, but not alarmed, based on the current climate outlook.”

“With the increased rain intensity we are experiencing, especially in East Gippsland - the frequency of severe weather, thunderstorms and/or flooding incidents, has increased.”

“The best way to stay safe and prepared for weather-related incidents is to know your local risk - you can do this by checking your Local Flood Guide. 

Additionally, ensure to download the Vic Emergency app to stay up to date with emergency advice and messaging, and if you come across flood water on the road, ensure to never drive through it.”

Updated