Climate change is increasing bushfire risk in Queensland

18.09.16 By
This article is more than 7 years old

Our new report has found that climate change is increasing the risk of bushfires in Queensland, which is likely to place increased pressure on emergency services and the health sector.

While damaging bushfires are less common in Queensland than other states in Australia, climate change is driving an increase in extreme heat in Queensland, leading to higher bushfire risk.

The report found:

Professor Lesley Hughes said the increased risk of high fire weather conditions in Queensland is likely to place increased pressure on firefighting services.

“During the past decade, state fire agencies have increasingly needed to share suppression resources domestically during peak demand periods,” she said.

“As climate change increases the severity and frequency of bushfires in Australia, firefighting services will be less able to rely on help from interstate and across the world as fires occur simultaneously. This is a major challenge for Queensland.”

Professor Hughes said stronger action was needed to reduce the bushfire risk in Queensland.

“Australia’s emissions reduction target of 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2030 is not sufficient to protect Australians from worsening bushfires and extreme weather events,” she said.

Australia must reduce its emissions rapidly and deeply to join global efforts to stabilise the world’s climate and to reduce the risk of exposure to extreme events, including bushfires.”

Image credit: CSIRO ‘Fire in the Tropics’ licensed under CC BY 3.0