New South Wales is facing increasingly dangerous bushfire seasons, commencing earlier and lasting longer as a result of intensifying climate change, according to a new Climate Council report.
The ‘Earlier, More Frequent, More Dangerous: Bushfires in New South Wales’, report shows climate change exacerbated the record breaking heat in winter and early spring, sparking dangerous fire conditions across the state and much of Australia.
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- Hot, dry conditions have a major influence on bushfires. The 2017 winter in New South Wales was one of the warmest on record and extremely dry, and was then followed by unprecedented September heat, including some regions reaching 40ºC or more for the first time on record.
- Bushfire costs in New South Wales are likely to more than double by mid-century to over $100 million per year. These estimates are conservative, because they do not factor in climate change.
- ‘Above normal’ fire potential is expected for much of the eastern New South Wales in the 2017-18 bushfire season, on the back of warm, dry June-September weather.
- Bushfires have a major negative impact on public health, the economy and the environment in New South Wales.