GLIMPSE INTO FUTURE: Firefighters battle the Liberation Trail bush fire that reached emergency level at Nana Glen, west of Coffs Harbour. The Climate Council's new report said the future holds more catastrophic fires such as this one.
GLIMPSE INTO FUTURE: Firefighters battle the Liberation Trail bush fire that reached emergency level at Nana Glen, west of Coffs Harbour. The Climate Council's new report said the future holds more catastrophic fires such as this one. Frank Redward

Bushfire seasons stretching into winter: Climate Council

WHETHER you believe in climate change or not, everyone is in agreement; this year's approaching fire season set to be a bad one.

With more than 50 fires currently burning across the state, the Climate Council has released a new briefing paper This Is Not Normal which states catastrophic fire conditions affecting NSW and Queensland have been aggravated by climate change.

The report, which has already received mixed reactions online, includes a number of findings by the council, with the main finding being the "catastrophic, unprecedented fire conditions currently affecting NSW and Queensland have been aggravated by climate change”.

The report, with findings based off evidence collected by the council's scientists, said the bush fire risk was "exacerbated by record breaking drought, very dry fuels and soils, and record breaking heat”.

Other findings include bush fire conditions are now more dangerous than in the past, with the report stating "the risks to people and property have increased and fire seasons have lengthened.

"It is becoming more dangerous to fight fires in Australia,” the report said.

"The fire season has lengthened so substantially that it has already reduced opportunities for fuel reduction burning.

"This means it is harder to prepare for worsening conditions.”

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said for more than 20 years scientists have warned that climate change would increase the risk of extreme bushfires in Australia.

"These warnings have now become reality and we are seeing communities paying the price,” Ms McKenzie said.

"Bushfire seasons are now stretching from spring to autumn, and in some areas even into winter. The window to conduct fuel reduction burns is now very narrow.”

Ms McKenzie said as state's fire seasons start to overlap, sharing resources is becoming more difficult between states and territories and countries.

"We need the Federal Government to urgently develop a plan that prepares Australian communities as well as health and emergency services for escalating fire danger,” she said.

"We must also rapidly phase out the burning of coal, oil and gas which is driving more dangerous fires.”

The Climate Council has previously published 11 peer-reviewed reports on bushfires and climate change written by world leading authorities.



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