Jim Andrews

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Australia State Could Face "Dire" Bushfire Season

November 26, 2012; 9:46 AM

Residents of the Australian state of Victoria have been warned of a "dire" bushfire season, following heavy winter rain.

The Country Fire Authority head said that people living in high-risk areas could have a season as bad as the one that led to the deadly 2009 Black Saturday fires, the Australian ABC News website indicated on Monday.


Photos.com/Ashley Whitworth

The Black Saturday blazes killed more than 170 people in Victoria.

"The grass is now growing very quickly, as are the forests around most of Victoria," Euan Ferguson said, warning that the abundant winter rainfall set up extremely high fuel loads across much of the state.

Southern spring is well advanced, and "grasslands and forests are drying," Ferguson told ABC News, adding, "we'll have a real fire season this year."



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Two danger areas were cited, Dandenong Ranges and Kinglake, where outskirts of Melbourne meet heavily wooded landscapes.

Victoria has, as of last week, already seen a few bushfires, one of which Ferguson called "significant."

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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