High alert for significant bushfires during Australia’s spring

The Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC) has large parts of a map of eastern and central Australia marked in red in its seasonal outlook.

It comes as the Bureau of Meteorology tips spring to be warm and dry for much of the country, with drought-linked climate drivers developing in oceans to the west and east of the country.

It will be the first dry spring to be predicted by the bureau since 2020.

The bureau will release its official outlook for spring next week but its current long-range outlook for September to November shows a dry signal over most of the country, apart from the coast of New South Wales, the tip of the Cape Yorke Peninsula, and central and northern WA.

Far south-west WA, far south-east SA and southern Victoria have more than double the chance of rainfall totals for the season falling in the driest 20 per cent of all years since 1981.

Maximum temperatures are also expected to be above average across Australia, according to the outlook.

If it eventuates, it will come off the back of a dry end to winter for south-eastern Australia, especially Victoria and Tasmania.

However, water storage levels remain healthy across the country, according the data from the bureau, with Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra and Darwin all above 90 per cent capacity.

Meanwhile, Brisbane and Adelaide are above 70 per cent, and Perth above 50 per cent.