With the Bureau of Meteorology officially declaring an El Niño and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are underway, residents in the City of Moreton Bay are being urged to prepare now for a hot, dry summer … and bushfires.
The bureau made the declaration yesterday saying warmer and drier conditions will be more likely over spring and summer. We haven’t experienced an El Niño since 2015.
Bureau of Meteorology Climate Manager Dr Karl Braganza said El Niño and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) tend to draw rain away from Australia.
“Over spring, their combined impact can increase the chance of below average rainfall over much of the continent and higher temperatures across the southern two-thirds of the country,” Dr Braganza said.
“The Bureau’s three-month forecast for Australian rainfall and temperature have been indicating warm and dry conditions for some time.
“It is now also more likely that warm and dry conditions will persist over eastern Australia until autumn.”
El Niño events increase the risk of heatwaves and hotter days.
Increased fire danger in south-eastern Australia is associated with El Niño conditions. A positive IOD contributes to greater fire risk over southeast Australia in spring, while El Niño contributes to elevated fire risk over both spring and summer.
Moreton Bay City Council says it is inevitable there will be fires close to homes this bushfire season and is urging residents to prepare now.
Moreton Bay City Council Mayor Peter Flannery is urging residents to act now to plan, prepare and survive the upcoming bushfire season.
“Council is busy as ever working with all land managers in our region and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) to execute planned burns that will protect homes and our natural environment,” Mayor Flannery says.
What residents can do
City of Moreton Bay residents are being encouraged to prepare emergency kits, devise a household evacuation plan, and remove high-risk fuel loads around properties.
“it’s up to every resident in Moreton Bay to make sure they are ready, because it’s inevitable that we will see bushfires close to homes at some point,” Mayor Flannery says.
While bushfire season often runs from September to November in the City of Moreton Bay, it can extend through to March.
Where to find information
Mayor Flannery says there is an abundance of information to help residents.
“Residents can also get real-time weather warnings to their phones by signing up to Council’s Moreton Alert system, so you can respond to changing conditions,” Mayor Flannery says.
“In the event of an emergency, Council’s Disaster Dashboard will have all the key information you’ll need to stay informed, from fire danger ratings and current bushfires to road conditions and power outages, evacuation centres and so much more.”
The Australian Fire Danger Rating System provides a simple way for residents to be informed about fire danger.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) says an unprepared home is not only at risk itself but may also present an increased danger to neighbours.
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