SCORCHED MEMORIES: Photos from the Stanthorpe Fire, almost a year ago to the day.
SCORCHED MEMORIES: Photos from the Stanthorpe Fire, almost a year ago to the day.

Anniversary of horror season brings new warnings

WITH a year since Stanthorpe’s devastating September fires quickly approaching, Southern Downs rural firefighters are hedging renewed hopes on a quieter season.

Recent fire outlook maps from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC reveal that the 2020/21 fire chance is shaping up to be “driven by vastly different climate drivers than the previous two fire seasons.”

Motivated by a La Nina likelihood, the report revealed that a wetter season would be unlikely to deliver an elevated grass fire risk before December.

Stanthorpe rural fire service group leader Pedro Curr said conditions were looking similarity favourable from his point of view.

“Things can change but it’s looking not bad. There’s not a major threat this year compared to the condition 12 months ago,” he said.

“It was so dry with horribly hot days so it was pretty grim before the north-westerly winds even hit.”

Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for September to November.
Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for September to November.

Still handing out permits for backburning at this stage, Mr Curr couldn’t believe how quickly the one-year anniversary had approached.

He also warned residents the caution was far from over.

“We know how quickly it can change if halfway through September ends up hot, we could be in trouble,” he said.

“People should still be aware — it can still happen, there’s enough fuel around for it to take off — but I think everyone is a bit more aware of it this time around.”



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