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Emergency chiefs talk flood, fire and disaster preparedness

Published 31/08/2020
VICSES Chief Officer Tim Wiebusch has been part of a critical seasonal outlook and preparedness discussion, centering on a potential high rainfall system and the 2020-2021 bushfire season.

VICSES Chief Officer Tim Wiebusch has been part of a critical seasonal outlook and preparedness discussion, centering on a potential high rainfall system and the 2020-2021 bushfire season.

He joined the Emergency Management commissioner and counterparts from FFMVIC, CFA, and FRV, who all weighed in on what we can expect in the months ahead.

According to projections from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, Bureau of Meteorology and relevant stakeholders, Victoria is in for a 'normal' fire season. Recent rainfall has also substantially reduced the risk major fires in Victoria's east between September and November.

In addition, the projections predict an above-median rainfall north and south of the Divide, which is "likely to affect bushfire potential for the west and south west of the state."

VICSES Chief Officer Tim Wiebusch has put his focus on flood risk around the state.

“The increased potential of a La Niña this Spring and predications for above average rainfall means the Victorian community needs to be prepared for the possibility of riverine and flash flooding over the coming months. We’re paying particular attention to late September and through October," he said.

Mr Wiebusch maintained that we may experience similar amount of high rainfall to 2016 or even 2010.

“From a flooding perspective, there are similarities in the climate outlook to what we experienced in 2016 and at its worst we could even see similar to what occurred in 2010 and 2011. That was the last significant La Niña event and the flood impacts had devastating consequences right across Victoria.”

“We know a protracted flood event is the last thing Victorian’s need in 2020, we’re preparing for it with our partner emergency services, and we need the community to be prepare for it too.”

For more information, read the EMV press release here.