The bushfire season in southern Australia is expected to start earlier than usual and be more active than normal due to warmer and drier-than-average climate conditions.
The Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook released on Thursday, which covers most of the nation excluding the Northern Territory, showed risk is particularly high in NSW, where there has already been many blazes this year amid the worst drought for nearly a century in some areas.
NSW Rural Fire Service communications director Anthony Clark said the risk was higher than usual for a large, forested and heavily populated part of the state from the Queensland border to the Victorian border.
Read Next "It's where people live so there are literally millions of people at risk from bushfires this season in NSW," Mr Clark told reporters in Perth.
"We haven't seen soil moisture readings like this in around 20 years so it's extremely dry.
"Last month alone, we saw more than 2000 bush and grassfires across NSW."
Above-normal bushfire activity is expected in southern Queensland in areas including Bundaberg and Kingaroy.
In Canberra, "the risk is greater than ever before", ACT Emergency Services Agency commissioner Dominic Lane said.
Victoria can expect a normal bushfire season with the exception of East Gippsland.
"We're probably in for a pretty difficult season this year," Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC chief executive Richard Thornton said.