The 2019/20 fire season is well underway with multiple large bushfires occurring since the release of the previous Outlook in August. Queensland and New South Wales in particular have experienced severe fires, but all states have had challenging fire conditions. Catastrophic fire danger ratings have been issued in NSW, Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria, and there has been loss of human lives and animals, and damage to property and the environment.
2019 has seen the second warmest January to November period on record for Australia, 0.01°C behind 2013, coupled with the second-driest on record for the same period. Looking forward into the Outlook period, it is these conditions that lead to the continued above normal fire potential across most states and territories into 2020. A long and challenging fire season is expected, and all states and the ACT are warning of increased fire danger as the fire season progresses.
The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook: December 2019 shows fire potential across Australia through summer 2019/2020. Above normal bushfire potential refers to the ability of a large fire to take hold when the recent and predicted weather for a particular area, the dryness of the land and forests, recent fire history and local firefighting resources are taken into consideration.