12 July, 2023
Somerset injects $311,000 into emergency services ahead of potential El Niño
Somerset Regional Council has contributed $311,815 to Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) for the period from April to June 2023.
Local Disaster Management Group Chair and Mayor of Somerset, Councillor Graeme Lehmann, said the QFES funds were in addition to $360,318 contributed in the 2022-2023 financial year to rural fire brigades in Somerset.
“The work performed by QFES, other emergency personnel and volunteers in protecting our community is wide-ranging and vital. They are there to help in all manner of disasters from floods, fire and traffic crashes,” Cr Lehmann said.
“We are being advised by the Bureau of Meteorology that their long-range forecasts indicate drier than average conditions and warmer than average days over the next few months, which could promote increased bushfire activity compared to the last two years.”
The Bureau of Meteorology advises there is currently an El Niño watch.
El Niño describes changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean that affect global weather and it occurs on average every three to five years.
During El Niño, there is a higher chance of drier weather in eastern Australia and it's more likely to be warmer than usual for the southern two-thirds of Australia.