Plan for fires now

Authorities warn of potentially harsh danger period ahead

THE Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), Strathbogie Shire and CFA have all issued warnings to residents to begin their preparations for bushfire season 2017/18 before it’s too late.

Despite the cool and damp conditions the district has been experiencing of late, summer and the bushfire season will soon be upon us.

Given the prediction of good spring growing conditions and expectations of a drier than average end to the year, it’s shaping up to be a potentially early, and nasty one.

The BOM is predicting both drier and hotter conditions than average in the coming months, a dangerous combination when assessing fire risk.

The four months from May to August saw below average conditions for most of the state, and while August has seen somewhat better rainfall in some areas, this rainfall has not been sufficient to compensate for earlier dry conditions.

This year’s below average rainfall also adds to much longer-term drying trend, with Victoria experiencing below average cool season rainfall in 17 of the past 20 seasons.

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