Fire threat of concern

Fire threat of concern

20 August 2008

published by

Australia — Fire authorities are expressing concern over fuel levels and the very dry conditions in the Shoalhaven leading up to the start of the statutory bushfire period on October 1.

Manager of the Shoalhaven Rural Fire District, Superintendent Ian Stewart, said the region had enjoyed a “number of good years” since the disastrous fires of 2001/02, resulting in significant growth.

Superintendent Stewart said he had toured the ‘back blocks’ underneath the escarpment one month ago and had been surprised at the level of growth and the extremely dry conditions.

He said recent rains appear to have been more coastal and the wind was having the effect of drying everything out.

Statistics also indicate that rainfall to August 2008 is significantly below rainfall to August 2007.

Weatherzone, for example, was showing 538.4mm of rainfall in the local region to August 14 this year compared to 1037.8mm during the same period last year – a difference of just under 500mm.

Superintendent Stewart said there had also been a significant amount of growth in some coastal areas and rural fire brigades were working with other authorities in the lead up to October 1.

He said while the forecast was for very little rain over the next couple of months, the long-term forecast was more promising with experts predicting a wet Christmas.

Superintendent Stewart said the Shoalhaven had a history of bad fire seasons starting as early as September and October.

He said there had already been a number of ‘running’ fires in recent weeks – some of them unexplained fires and others that have started as burn-offs.

Superintendent Stewart urged property owners throughout the Shoalhaven to start thinking about hazard reduction before its too late.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien