Weather conditions influence the size, intensity, speed and predictability of bushfires - and how dangerous they can be to the community.
While bushfires can happen at any time of the year, the time of peak bushfire activity varies across Australia with changes in seasonal weather patterns.
For northern Australia, the peak bushfire period is during the dry season, which is generally throughout winter and spring;and for southern Australia, the bushfire season peaks in summer and autumn.
While these are the traditional peaks of the bushfire season, local conditions can drive dangerous fire activity at any time.
When the weather is hot, the humidity is low and there's been little recent rain, vegetation dries out and becomes more flammable.
Vegetation growth can be encouraged by periods of wet weather, increasing the amount of fuel —and future bushfire risk—when the weather is dry.
Strong, gusty winds help fan the flames and cause a fire to spread faster across the landscape, reducing the time you have to prepare.
Above the fire, strong winds can carry hot embers long distances.
These can start 'spot' fires many kilometres ahead of the main fire front.
A change in wind direction can bring a period of dangerous bushfire activity.