July to September is the driest time of year in the Tweed but not this dry. The average rain in this part of the year has fallen 37% since 1990. In the 120 years from 1889 to 1999 only 1 year in 40 had July to September rainfall less than 40mm in Murwillumbah. From 2000 the frequency has increased to 1 year in 3.
In all the records from 1889 it has never been this dry AND this hot so early in Spring. Unless we get good rain and soon then the outlook for this fire season is very grim indeed.
All this only 6 months after a record breaking flood and yet there was not even an El Nino or La Nina event to blame it on. The conditions we are seeing this year not just here but around the world are very clearly the fingerprint of global warming.
These extremes are just the beginning. We are moving into a time when severe events will require the whole community to respond. We saw this in this in the last flood and it something to be proud of but it is also something we must build on. A partnership between community and emergency services providing mutual support and backup.
So the question is not just whether we are individually prepared this fire season but how can we help if it gets bad.