Wet weather puts NSW in fire danger

Wet weather puts NSW in fire danger

25 November 2011

published by http://m.smh.com.au  

Australia — Emergency services are expecting to face the worst fire conditions NSW has seen in 40 years this summer.

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons warned conditions could be extremely dangerous come the end of December.

He said current weather conditions made it difficult for people across the state to imagine they could face a difficult fire season.

“Because we have had such good drought-breaking rain, there is an extraordinary amount of fuel,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“Right across the ranges, to all of our borders, there has been grassland growth like we haven’t seen in 30 to 40 years.

“You have to go back that far to see the level of risk with grassland conditions.”

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said grass is a very fine fuel, and grass fires typically move two to three times faster than bushfires.

“Grass is very susceptible to fire. All we need is a few days of hot conditions.

“A lot of people think grassland fires are not as severe as bushfires, but it is not difficult for them to move at 20-30km/h, where bushfires reach a speed of about 10km/h.”

He said that his biggest concern in these conditions was “complacency”.

“Much of NSW has not had a fire risk like this for 30 to 40 years, and with the talk of [continuing rain] everyone seems to think NSW will be fire free.

“I’m not seeking to be alarmist, but you cannot ignore the facts.”

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said people in NSW should think about their fire survival plan, whether at home or on holidays.

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