Fires over summer in the Warrnambool region are likely to be slower but more intense, a CFA representative says.
District five operations manager Richard Bourke, who oversees a large swathe of the south-west, said grass growth caused by record rain had affected the seasonal outlook.
“This grass growth is more than last year, and what that has done is led to a position where the fire behaviour that we anticipate we will experience will be different from last year,” he said.
“So last year we would have had fast-moving but not very intense grass fires because there wasn’t a lot of vegetation. This year, because of growth, fires will be slower but more intense, which may also mean they are harder to extinguish.”
A revised outlook released by Emergency Management Victoria forecast an above normal bushfire risk across most of the state caused in part by extensive spring growth creating high fuel loads. However, many parts of the south-west were still classed as having a normal risk level.
The seasonal outlook also predicted above average temperatures for most of the state from November to January.