Bushfire and storm seasons end amidst wet conditions

The 2020-21 ACT bushfire and storm seasons officially end today following significant flood damage across Eastern Australia this month.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentleman said the current season had significantly reduced fire activity compared with the 2019-20 season, which saw large bushfires and significant storm damage across the ACT.

“The La Nina weather event this season caused a large number of substantial storms pass through the Territory, resulting in widespread devastation across Eastern Australia,” Minister Gentleman said.

“The ACT was impacted by the overflow of dams and rivers and structures were damaged, resulting in more than 240 requests for assistance to the ACT State Emergency Service.

“Canberrans are still recovering from the record-breaking hailstorm in January 2020 and we were fortunate that most local storms did not cause significant damage this season.

“The reduced fire activity and favourable weather enabled ACT Rural Fire Service and ACT Parks and Conservation to successfully undertake a number of hazard reduction burns in recent weeks to reduce the threat of bushfires.

“I thank all the staff and volunteers who have contributed to response and preparation activities.”

ACT Emergency Services Agency (ACTESA) Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said this weather pattern and much needed rain reduced the threat of grass fires in the ACT.

“Our team of teams worked very hard this season responding to storm related incidents, vertical rescues, flood rescues, small grass fires and search and rescues,” Commissioner Whelan said.

“As we recognise today as the end of the official bushfire and storm season, we are all too aware of natural disasters occurring all year round and it is important Canberrans remain vigilant and continue to be prepared.

“I am proud of the work our members and volunteers continually undertake and I thank them for their ongoing support ensuring the safety of Canberrans. As the 2020-21 season comes to an end, we look forward to working hard over the coming months to prepare for the 2021-22 season.”

Download and complete a survival plan at: https://esa.act.gov.au/be-emergency-ready/resources-plans/survival-plan.

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