AFAC, the National Council for fire and emergency services, has released the Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Spring 2023.

The Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for spring 2023 serves as a strong reminder to communities and businesses across the country to prepare now.

Australia’s climate influences have shifted significantly since last spring.  Following above-average rainfall experienced during consecutive La Niña years, the Bureau of Meteorology predicts a switch to higher chances of above-average temperatures and below-average rainfall for almost the entire country.

Recent rainfall means many regions, including Hepburn Shire, have also seen increased fuel growth, which is contributing to increased risk of bushfire during the spring season.

For spring 2023, increased risk of bushfire has been identified for large areas of the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales, as well as regions in Victoria and South Australia.

The outlook for spring indicates drier and warmer conditions than usual.  As a result, there is a high likelihood that the bushfire season of 2023-24 will commence earlier across much of central, western and northern Victoria.  In agricultural areas, elevated grass fuel loads will likely cure earlier than most years and may present an elevated risk until harvest occurs.  Around the state, the fire risk potential is assessed to be normal noting that drier forests, woodlands and heathlands can pose a fire risk under the onset of hot, dry and windy weather conditions. There is considerable uncertainty around the effect that forecast climate drivers will have in regard to any potential extremes in drying rates and flammability of foothill and damper forests. As a result, landscape conditions will be monitored during the outlook period to identify key risk areas leading into the summer period.

‘Fire is a regular part of the Australian landscape in spring,” said AFAC CEO Rob Webb. “Wherever you live, work or travel, now is the time to plan and prepare. Understand your risk, know where you will get your information, and talk to your family about what you will do.”

“Residents are urged to clean up their properties before the fire danger period is declared,” added Daylesford CFA Captain, Glenn Webster. “Make sure that CFA appliances have good access to your property should something happen, with entry points having at least a 3 metre clearance.

“When the fire danger period is declared, be aware of what you can do and can’t do by checking the CFA website”

“Sit down with your family or household and make or review your Bushfire Survival Plan at”

State and our local fire authorities will continue to monitor local conditions closely and undertake bushfire mitigation activities where possible.

Fire potential can vary greatly, even at the local scale.  Our fire agencies’ assessment takes into account different land use types and vegetation types.  This is influenced by different forecasts for temperature and rainfall over these regions. Know how to stay informed and know which information channels work for you.