AUSTRALIA COULD SEE another early start to the bushfire season, as the latest BOM outlook paints a hotter and drier than normal picture for much of the country.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) ‘Climate Outlook’ released today confirms that from August to October, Australia is likely to experience drier than average conditions, as well as warmer than average temperatures, virtually nationwide.

Former NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner and Climate Councillor, Greg Mullins said this is bad news for firefighters as warm, dry conditions increase the flammability of vegetation, potentially loading the dice towards a dangerous and early bushfire season.

“Similar to what we experienced last year, parts of Australia could see yet another early start to the bushfire season,” he said.

“In New South Wales, the official bushfire season starts in October, but with these conditions and underlying drought, we could once again see serious bushfires in August, or as early as this month,” said Mullins.

“Southeast Queensland is also on high alert, especially given their bushfire season last year began in July – two months early,” he said.

“This is part of a long-term trend, being driven by climate change. Australia’s bushfire seasons are starting earlier, becoming more severe and lasting longer than ever before.”

“Today’s outlook from BOM once again cements the fact that Australia needs to take a good hard look at its greenhouse gas emissions, which have been consistently rising over the past five years,” said Mullins.

“The burning of coal, oil and gas, is warming the world, worsening extreme weather and putting people in danger – and Australia is ill prepared,” said the former Commissioner.