A bushfire expert from The University Of Melbourne has connected the current bushfire crisis in NSW to the delayed monsoon season in India.
Trent Penman, an associate professor at University Of Melbourne who studies the behaviour and formation of bushfires, spoke to the ABC about how he sees a link between the monsoon season in South-West Asia, which extended into October this year with record-breaking rainfalls, to the early bushfire season in NSW & Queensland.
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He believes the delay led to Darwin’s current wet season, which has been intense, and that left the east coast extremely dry.
“The rain that may normally occur in these regions at this time hasn’t actually come down due to that global event. And so because of that these regions are hot, dry and windy. These are the perfect conditions for extreme fires like what we’re seeing at the moment.”
RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons also spoke to the ABC, blaming the intense bushfire activity on the drought.
“I could only recall a figure of 10 that we got to, which is an extraordinary event in years past,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
“I could only recall a figure of 10 that we got to, which is an extraordinary event in years past. We just cannot overstate the influence of the drought-stricken landscape.”
Two people have died as a result of the bushfires, with seven unaccounted for and over 150 homes destroyed at the time of writing. More than 80 fires are burning across NSW and Queensland.