Climate change increases the risk of bushfires in Queensland

A new Climate Council briefing paper has found that climate change is increasing the risk of bushfires in Queensland, which communities, emergency services and the health sector must prepare for.

Australia is a fire prone country. While damaging bushfires are less common in Queensland than other states in Australia, climate change is now increasing the incidence of extreme heat and making heatwaves longer and more frequent, leading to a higher risk.

Queensland’s most populated region, the southeast, has a medium to high bushfire risk at the rural–urban fringe, where a large proportion of growth has been accommodated in the post-war period. This fire risk has been increasing substantially in recent decades. According to the RFS and QRFS, more than 50% of Queensland extreme fire days over the period 1945 to 2007 have occurred since 1990, with extreme fire days most prevalent in the southeast of the state.

The Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessments undertaken by Queensland Ecologists mostly occur in the south-east corner of the state (Gold Coast, Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, Somerset and Moreton Bay), however we anticipate this need to creep northwards as climate change creates a higher bushfire risk.

View the Climate Council paper here: https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/uploads/3afad916c1f7f8d74000c8b20947bca1.pdf

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