Due to drier and warmer than average conditions since autumn 2017, the bushfire seasonal outlook for 2017-18 has been re-examined for southern Australia. Queensland experienced an early start to the fire season, with significant fires occurring in August. Early season fires of significance were also experienced in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Most states are warning of an above normal fire season. While there is potential of a late-forming, weak La Nina, it brings little prospect of high rainfall due to competing climate drivers from the Indian Ocean. Weak and late-developing La Nina events have had a variable impact on Australian rainfall in the past. Above average temperatures are expected for much of the eastern two thirds of the country.
These conditions have resulted in an update to the Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook. This updated Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook, released as Hazard Note 43, replaces the previous Outlook, published as Hazard Note 38 in September 2017.
It is important to remember that normal fire conditions can still produce fast running and large fires.