The Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC) has released the latest bushfire outlook for Summer 2023.
For the Northern Territory, grass fuel loads in Central Australia and the Barkly region are a major driver for large, landscape-wide wildfires, with limited resources available across that vast area for suppression and response. With drying conditions expected to impact the Barkly, Tanami, Alice Springs and Lassiter regions, an above normal fire potential is predicted for the Summer 2023/24 period.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Joshua Fischer said, “The Top End Fire Danger Period has ended for the greater Darwin Region which has been a challenging season for the Top End crews. This year alone, NTFRS has attended more than 3300 bush and grass fires as well as a further 6500 other fires and emergency incidents.
“Large landscape fires have recently occurred throughout Central Australia and the Barkly, with over 13 million hectares of land burnt in the last seven weeks — an area twice the size of Tasmania — highlighting the increased risk of bushfire and reinforcing the need for landowners and managers to take action if they haven't already done so.
“This has been a long fire season and it is expected we won’t see a break before the season begins again in the Top End. I would like to thank the hard working career, auxiliary and invaluable volunteer firefighters, both from NTFRS and Bushfires NT, and everyone who has worked tirelessly over this past year protecting Territorians.
“With the advent of higher temperatures, increased risk of bushfires across Central Australia and the Barkly over the summer period, we’re asking Territorians in these areas to take simple actions to prepare their family and property. Maintenance of firebreaks is one way to protect your property and your community. Ensure they are at least 4 meters wide and any vegetation within is below 50mm.
“Find some time to sit down with your family or household and make a Bushfire Survival Plan, and if you already have one, it’s a great time to review it to ensure your family have a clear plan in place in case immediate action needs to be taken.”
For more information on the bushfire outlook, visit https://www.afac.com.au/auxiliary/publications/seasonal-outlook
For Fire Ban information and bushfire advice and warnings, visit https://secure.nt.gov.au
All Territorians are encouraged to plan and prepare for the risk of bushfires by going to https://bit.ly/3wyOdwg