The Tasmanian Fire Service is worried the state may suffer large-scale bushfires this summer unless weather conditions change dramatically.
Tasmania, Australia — State fire chief John Gledhill yesterday said Tasmania’s south-east and east were dry enough to allow early-season fires similar to the ones experienced around Hobart in October last year.
“I think we are all starting to get a bit nervous about the way the rain hasn’t arrived this spring,” Mr Gledhill said.
“The south-east and the east is probably as dry as it was last year.
“That isn’t a good omen — especially seeing as we had fires in early October last year that really gave us some curry.”
Mr Gledhill said climate change was creating a changing fire season that needed to be adapted to each year.
“We continue to set dry records, which is in line with climate change observations globally.
“Things are no different this year. Our fire season is changing.
“A few days of this windy weather will really dry out the landscape and fires will freely burn in any area of bush.”
Mr Gledhill was speaking ahead of today’s conference of the Australasian Fire Authorities Council and the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre.
He said endeavours to ensure the community was prepared for fire was the most important role of the fire services.
“We will never have enough fire trucks on those bad days,” he said. “We have to stop fighting the fires and start working out smart ways of living with fire safety.”
AFAC committee member Neil Bibby said the dry start to spring had been felt right across the country.
“Each particular region of Australia will have problems this summer,” he said.