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Bushfire warning for Perth, Melbourne, NSW

AAP logoAAP 31/08/2016

The outskirts of Perth, Melbourne and vast tracts of NSW face a higher than average risk of bushfires this summer.

Below-average rainfall is predicted for spring in southwest Australia, which would exacerbate the bushfire potential, the nation's fire authorities suggested on Wednesday in the Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Southern Australia.

The bushfire season, which begins in October, is predicted to be delayed across most of the country.

High rainfall, warm termperatures and prolific spring grass growth is also expected to increase bushfire risk in western and central parts of Victoria and NSW, the report says.

Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat in Victoria and Dubbo, Albury, Goulburn and Bourke in NSW are expected to be most affected.

Parts of the Nullarbor and areas between Geraldton and Carnarvon are also at an increased risk.

"The outlook for both maximum and minimum temperatures strongly favours above average temperatures across most of Australia (this summer)," the report said.

Using data from the Bureau of Meteorology, the report shows that despite significant cold spells, this year's winter was 0.9C above average.

The outlook will be updated in November to take into account the impacts of actual temperatures and rainfall during spring.

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