Australian news, and some related international items

Drought-stricken NSW braces for an early bushfire season with not enough water to take them on

Drought-stricken NSW braces for an early bushfire season with not enough water to take them on ABC New England By Jennifer Ingall  2 Aug 19,  Firefighters in parched New South Wales face the unenviable predicament of preparing for the impending fire season in a state where 98 per cent is in drought or short on water.

Key points:

  • Firefighters brace for a hot summer with depleted water resources
  • BOM’s August to October climate outlook suggests a drier than average three months for large parts of Australia
  • RFS assures farmers it will replace water used to fight fires

“When you’ve got a drought like that, particularly in bush areas, the fuel is so dry it doesn’t take a lot to get it to burn and burn hot,” acting Rural Fire Service (RFS) deputy commissioner Rob Rogers said.

August was traditionally a cool but windy month, but add to that the dry fuel load and it could be a recipe for disaster.

“So you’ve got the dry fuel and the strong winds — if you add a high temperature, and if we don’t get an easing of the drought through rainfall, then that’s quite concerning going into summer proper,” he said.

Resources already depleted

In the state’s north, the community of Tenterfield does not have enough water to supply the townsfolk, let alone an allocation of the precious resource to fight fires.

The drought has left the town supply with less than 200 days of water, requiring the Tenterfield Council to take the drastic measure of bringing in a temporary desalination plant.

In February this year, the region depleted a lot of its water resources fighting fires.

The RFS pulled water from private dams and even household tanks which then had to be replenished…….

August 3, 2019 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales

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