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Australia: Australia is gearing up for a serious bushfire season

Australia: Australia is gearing up for a serious bushfire season

Concerns about summer bushfires are growing in Australia. The government-run Australian Fire Officials Council (Afac), which is responsible for fighting bushfires, warned of extremely hot and dry weather across much of the continent in a new forecast. Combined with the previous three wet years, this has led to dense undergrowth and excessive grass growth, with the risk particularly high in Queensland and New South Wales on the east coast and the Northern Territory, the organization said.

Other states are also at high risk in the coming weeks and months, it said. Many of the particularly threatened areas have already been hit by a devastating “black summer” in 2019 and 2020. During that time, several months of wildfires destroyed twelve million hectares of land, and countless animals died or were displaced.

Emergency arrangements

AFAG called on people to prepare now for the worst. “No matter where you live, work or travel this summer, you need to know where to find wildfire information, prepare your property and talk to family and friends about what to do in an emergency,” said Chief Executive Rob Webb.

The commission had warned months in advance of the worst fires in the Australian spring and summer. Since then, there have been several serious bushfires, for example west of Brisbane and in the suburbs of Perth. At least two firefighters died in the process, and a 56-year-old man in New South Wales died in October while trying to protect his farm from the blaze.