A map of Australia’s most bushfire-prone areas has revealed this summer could rival that of the devastating bushfires over 2019-20.
The map was released by the Australian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC) on Thursday and highlighted massive areas across the nation that have an ‘increased risk of fire’.
AFAC believes record-breaking dry conditions during winter and a warmer than average start to spring has left the nation susceptible to large-scale bushfires.
Massive areas of New South Wales, Queensland and inland Northern Territory have been identified as being a potential powder keg during a bushfire.
Meanwhile every other state and territory, except for the ACT, also has regions that are under threat.
A map of Australia’s most bushfire-prone areas (pictured) has revealed the nation could be in for a summer that rivals that of the destructive Black Summer over 2019-20
Almost all of Queensland has been designated as high risk this summer, with only some areas along the coast and encroaching on the South Australian border not being highlighted.
After already experiencing numerous fires prior to the start of summer, New South Wales’ coastline, northeast and centre are also in the firing line this summer.
AFAC also highlighted large areas covered in dry grass across inland Northern Territory, including Alice Springs and as far north as Elliot, as contributing to a higher risk of bushfires.
While not as expansive as NSW, Queensland or the NT, Major cities such as Perth Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart are all either in, or close to, vulnerable regions.
The southwest coast of Western Australia, including the Margaret River and Albany, was found to be in jeopardy.
An stretch of land from just west of Melbourne and reaching along the coast through Geelong almost to Portland was found to have an increased risk as well as the state’s east around Genoa.
Meanwhile a small stretch of area in Tasmania to the northwest of Hobart was found to have become much drier than usual and could lead to a bushfire.
Many of the areas highlighted as being at risk of bushfires this summer had been in the thick of the Black Summer blazes just three years ago (pictured, firefighters during Black Summer)
AFAC boss Rob Webb said the map should provide Aussies with more than enough warning to prepare themselves for bushfire season this summer.
‘Wherever you live, work or visit this summer, know where to find bushfire information, prepare your property, and talk to your family and friends about what you will do in an emergency,’ he said.
He said firefighters had already been busy putting out fires across the nation well before the start of summer.
Mr Webb urged Aussies to help out their local fire agencies by being bushfire prepared before the fire season starts.
However AFAC noted that the map should only be used as a guide, warning that the potential for a bushfire to form and spread varies greatly at even small scales.
‘State and territory fire authorities will continue to monitor local bushfire conditions closely through summer,’ a statement from the council reads.
‘Communities should stay informed and prepared, and check official sources for advice and warnings.’
Some of the high-risk areas for this bushfire season were also in the thick of the Black Summer blazes three years ago.
The nation’s east coast has since been largely affected by mostly wet and cold weather, meaning the charred remains of the deadly bushfires have been rejuvenated.
However this year’s return of El Nino, mostly dry and hot weather, has since caused those areas to now more closely resemble kindling.
Throughout Black Summer (pictured), about 100 bushfires burnt through about 21.4million hectares of land – mostly in Victoria, NSW and the ACT – between July 2019 and May 2020
The bushfires destroyed just under 2,800 homes, killed 34 people and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 3billion animals all while affecting about 80 per cent of the nation
The same had happened during the 2019-20 summer, with droughts gripping the nation for three years prior and turning swathes of the nation bone-dry.
Areas such as Bega and East Gippsland, along the coastal regions of the Victorian and New South Wales Border, had about 60 per cent of its land burnt.
To add insult to injury, Bega was also hit with torrential floods and Covid-19 lockdowns that resulted in four deaths and about 500 homes destroyed.
A total of 21.4million hectares of land – mostly in Victoria, NSW and the ACT – was burnt from June 2019 to May 2020.
The fires destroyed just under 2,800 homes, killed 34 people and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 3billion animals.
Economists believe the fires are one of the most devastating in Australian history, affecting about 80 per cent of Aussies and costing about $78–88billion in property damage and economic losses.