Fire weather seasons

Learn about the peak seasons for bushfires across Australia.

Australia's fire weather seasons

Bushfires can happen at any time of year in Australia when weather and fuel conditions are right. But the risk is greater in some months, differing across the country. These are our peak fire danger seasons.

Different weather systems can bring a higher fire danger risk to Australia's temperate and tropical regions.

Climate change is affecting fire weather seasons across the continent. To learn about the impact, see How weather affects fires.

Map of Australia
with different coloured bands for peak fire danger seasons across the country.
Roughly horizontally from north to south: orange for peak fire danger in June
to August; green for mid-July to mid-October; yellow for September to November;
pink for mid-October to mid-January; and blue for December to February. Western
Australia and Northern Territory have all 5 fire danger seasons. In Victoria,
Tasmania, southern New South Wales and most of South Australia, peak risk is
December to February.

It's always fire weather season somewhere across Australia. The peak fire danger seasons on this map are based on the Forest Fire Danger Index. Forest fuel is one of 8 major fuel types in the Australian Fire Danger Rating System. Fire seasons can extend beyond the months shown. Source: Seamless climate change projections and seasonal predictions for bushfires in Australia – CSIRO Publishing.

Northern Australia – June to November

When grasses are dead and fuels have dried, northern Australia is most at risk of bushfires.

Intense high-pressure systems over southern Australia produce strong south-east to north-east winds and low relative humidity. This increases the risk.

The peak fire danger is generally around spring. This includes some near coastal regions in eastern Australia.

Some parts of the far north and north-west have a peak fire danger more towards winter.

Central latitudes – mid-October to mid-January

The greatest danger is after the dry winter and early spring. The worst conditions for central parts of eastern Australia come with deep low-pressure systems. They can bring strong, hot and dry westerly winds to the coastal districts.

The end of the fire season is determined by the onset of moister conditions. Sometimes this is the result of a tropical low or tropical cyclone developing near Australia's northern coast.

Southern Australia – December to February

During spring, vegetation often holds some moisture after a wet winter. Fires can still happen on any day. They are more likely to spread on days with strong winds and dry air.

As vegetation dries during summer, southern Australia becomes more vulnerable to bushfires.

The season ends with the onset of rainfall and cool, moist conditions due to cold fronts or rain bands.

Fire weather warnings

View the National warnings summary.