El Nino which brings dry and warm conditions, coupled with below average rainfall for over a decade means this summer we should expect another year of above average fire risk. The below average rainfall that we’ve been experiencing each year has meant we have a drying landscape, exacerbated by the strengthening El Nino in the Pacific. However the drying effects have been partially offset by record warmth in the Indian Ocean off WA, which has meant more clouds and rain than may have been delivered when experiencing one of the strongest El Ninos on record. These very complicated weather patterns interact, combine and in some cases offset each other.
Weather conditions play a significant role in the behaviour of bush fires. When the elements of weather combine they can produce optimum conditions for the ignition and spread of fires. This typically happens 4 to 6 times in a bush fire danger season. “Blow up days” as the fire fighters refer to them, occurred 16 times in a row in January 1994.
If the experts and the recently published “Southern Australia seasonal bushfire outlook for 2015-16” are correct, Sydney and the surrounding areas are likely to have a busier than usual bush fire season.
Much has been learnt since the fires which raged in Sydney and then Canberra and advances in communications mean that those at risk can be kept informed by Apps and SMS to enable them to make timely decisions about whether to stay or leave.
The fires in the Blue Mountains in 2013 destroyed over $180 million of property. Approximately 80% of those affected were under-insured and only about 12% had total replacement policies for their property.
Our advice is Prepare and Protect yourself for when fire once again threatens to encroach upon the area we live in.
Visit www.myfireplan.com.au and read their Bush Fire Survival Plan and make sure you’re insured to replace any property that may be damaged. If you’re not sure you have the right cover, talk to one of our insurance brokers on 1300 784 011