The ACT Emergency Services Agency has announced that the 2021-22 bushfire season will officially commence on 1 November.

Traditionally, the start date for the bushfire season in the ACT is 1 October. With the rainfall we have seen over the winter months, and above average predicted rainfall for spring, the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ACTESA) Commissioner Georgeina Whelan has delayed the 2021-22 bushfire season by one month.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentleman said the recent weather the territory has experienced has resulted in grasslands around the ACT having higher moisture content and dams at maximum capacity.

“Although there is always a risk of a bush or grass fire, under current conditions this has reduced the likelihood of significant fire conditions in our area,” Minister Gentleman said.

“This is a timely reminder to all Canberrans to prepare their homes and ensure they are ‘Emergency Ready’ for the upcoming bushfire season.”

ACTESA Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said the community should be confident knowing our firefighting services within the territory are prepared for the approaching season.

“I am impressed with the level of preparedness the ACT Rural Fire Service has maintained over the last 12 months and confident our teams will continue this level of preparation and resilience over the coming months as we continually adjust our COVID-19 protocols,” Commissioner Whelan said.

“Our services are operating at full capacity and have business continuity plans in place to manage a range of impacts which could affect our workforce, including the impact of COVID-19 public health measures.

“The ACTESA urges the community to prepare for the fire season, highlighting that we cannot be complacent despite forecasts for a wet start to the fire season.”

For more information on how to Be Emergency Ready, including how to prepare an Emergency Kit and an Emergency Survival Plan, visit the ESA website.