Summer is coming and with it we can expect earlier, more frequent and more dangerous bushfires, according to a Climate Council of Australia report.
The report, released on Tuesday, claimed bushfires in NSW had become “more frequent and dangerous due to climate change”.
The Climate Council of Australia (CCA) has used the research of a former University of Wollongong academic to strengthen its latest analysis of bushfire risks and the implications of increasing fire activity across the state.
The report also reiterated an earlier warning of above-normal fire potential across much of eastern Australia this summer.
The increased likelihood of fire comes on the back of record-hot and unseasonably-dry weather across NSW in recent months.
Sixty-one records for the lowest monthly rainfall were broken statewide during September, while temperatures surpassed previous highs at 76 locations.
However despite recent wet weather, and more rain forecast later this week, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has warned people not to become complacent.
Warm days would see vegetation dry off and the fire danger return, the RFS said.
The CCA report stated two bird species, the threatened eastern bristle bird and the glossy black cockatoo – “face the potential destruction of their habitats” because they were in areas of bush targeted in hazard reduction burning.
The Shoalhaven example, linked to research by former University of Wollongong (UOW) academic Professor Robert Whelan, was used to help explain the environmental effects of bushfires.
The report said while many ecosystems benefited from fire, “deliberate fuel reduction burning” could destroy habitats if it wasn’t managed properly. Professor Whelan’s research was published in 2009. More recently, he has worked as a consultant.