Australian Bushfire Season Update 2019

It has been a frantic start to the summer in Australia. The pressure is on as bushfires wreak havoc across the eastern side of the country. Firefighters and emergency services have been thrown in the deep end at the start of what is forecast to be another hot, dry summer.

Global Effort - EMS Worldwide Community 

The fires may be located in Australia, but in finding a solution, it's a truly global effort. For the first time since 2009, Australia has asked for Canadian help. Dozens of volunteer firefighters from Canada are packing up their gear and shipping out over the Christmas period, following a call out from AFAC. 

These incredibly unselfish acts come from a long history of multi-national firefighting partnerships. Canada has asked for the services of Australian firefighters four times since 2015, and In 2017 two hundred Australian firefighters deployed to Canada to help wildfires. It‘s not just Canada helping from the other side of the world, America is also helping in the efforts with numerous agencies across 11 states sending a contingent of qualified firefighters to Australia to help with wildfire and aviation management.

“We’ve utilized their expertise in the past and welcome the opportunity to reciprocate.” — U.S. Forest Service Fire Director Shawna Legarza

International firefighting communities have shown support for each other all over the globe over the years, all of them fighting on our behalf.

New South Wales

New South Wales has been the worst-hit region so far in 2019. With almost 2 million hectares burnt in the last 5 months. Currently, there are 96 fires burning with over half of them not yet contained. Emergency personnel are working tirelessly in an attempt to keep the blazes under control as winds and temperatures really begin to ramp up. 

“Conditions are so dry that putting fires out is very challenging at the moment. We are just trying to establish containment lines.” — Royal Fire Service, NSW.

Authorities are urging residents to stay vigilant and have a plan if the time comes that they need to evacuate. 

Victoria

With Victoria announcing a ‘Code Red’ fire alert for the first time in 10 years, residents and emergency services are on high alert. Focus is on the northern part of the state where residents have been urged to pack their things and move out.  Firefighters have a unique battle on their hands due to the remote nature of the location of many of the fires towards the east of the state. Our very own TracPlus team member, Simon Barton, is working on the front line with his local Country Fire Service in Ballarat, so we’re hearing first-hand the panic that is spreading across the area amongst agencies and communities.


Queensland

Wild weather has been the cause of multiple bushfires in the state of Queensland, with lightning strikes sparking up new hotspots, authorities are working hard to contain the impact. Firefighters are working hard all over the state controlling the spread of over fifty unpredictable wildfires. With temperatures pushing 40° and little rainfall forecast, many fear the worst is still to come for Queensland’s firefighters. 


Summer Forcast

The bureau of meteorology’s outlook for the summer is simple. Hot and dry. The Bureau of Meteorology’s head of long-range forecasting has told media that there is an 80% chance of warmer days and nights for much of the country through the 2019-20 summer. The higher variability of weather systems across the southeast of the country along with insufficient rainfall means that fire risk will likely stay heightened through the Australian summer.

Significant bushfire activity during the spring coincides with the low moisture levels in soil, trees and forest shrubbery. Residents cand expect long term fire restrictions and a maintained fire risk to continue through the summer.

High forecasted temperatures along with a lack of rainfall means firefighters along the eastern side of the country are in for a tough summer. Fire and Emergency authorities are urging communities to stay safe and make sure that appropriate emergency plans are in place come the need for evacuation.

TracPlus is incredibly proud to work alongside firefighters across Australia. Their crews inspire our team to keep innovating and developing, finding ways to work collaboratively with other technology providers to keep our teams safe.

Recommended Articles

Keep Firefighting Crews Connected

TracPlus allows firefighting crews to stay connected regardless of their tracking provider. Integrate your tracking data into TracPlus, and ensure every operator and Government agency can know where firefighting fleet are — whether they're firebombing or fighting fires on the ground.

TracPlus for Firefighting