Learn about the weather and its role during a bushfire

Weather plays an important role in bushfire behaviour. All of Australia’s most devastating bushfires have occurred under strong winds, high temperatures and low humidity.


Weather can influence a bushfire in several ways. Wind influences a fires direction and can push flames onto new fuel sources, increasing the fires size, speed and intensity. Wind also transports embers which can create new fire fronts. Embers are the main cause of property damage during a bushfire. Wind also pushes oxygen into the bushfire. More oxygen will increase the fires intensity, while a drop in wind may decrease the size of the fire.

Temperature and humidity

Temperature and relative humidity affect how easily fuel will ignite and burn. Vegetation and other combustible elements (including decks, woodpiles and fences) will more easily ignite and burn during hot, dry weather.

The bushfire season varies across Australia. In Victoria, most bushfires occur in January and February.

Other factors

Heatwaves, drought, and climate change can also affect bushfire conditions in various ways; for example, by reducing the amount of water in the landscape and making any remaining vegetation more vulnerable to bushfire.

Strong winds, high temperatures and low humidity will increase the severity of a bushfire