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Coastal Queensland shapes as bushfire hotspot

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A large area of Queensland, south of Rockhampton towards the NSW border, should expect above-average bushfire risk this summer, according to a northern Australia seasonal outlook.

The outlook, published by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, says record warmth and low rainfall have shaped the forecast.

Dry and warm conditions have persisted for most of the past two years, except for on the tropical Queensland coast.

Inland areas in the state’s south and west should also expect above-average bushfire risk.

The NT and northern WA can expect normal fire risk for the season, although the Top End has experienced its driest wet season since 1992, with rainfall 34% below the long-term average.

North WA has experienced below-average rainfall over the wet season. But bushfires last year and backburning and grazing this year have reduced the risk, the outlook says.

Despite a dry 12 months in northern SA, normal fire potential is expected. High grass growth stemming from Queensland floodwaters should not raise the fire risk above normal conditions, the outlook says.