Bureau of Meteorology says warm and dry conditions part of longer drying trend, and wind could cause problems in NSW as early as Monday

Bushfire conditions in eastern Australia will be at “near record values” this spring following what appears to be the driest winter since 2002, the Bureau of Meteorology has said.

The dry winter in 2002 was followed by a very damaging bushfire season, including the devastating Canberra bushfires that culminated in a suburban firestorm on 18 January, 2003, and a series of bushfires in the Victorian alps that ran for 59 days and burned 5% of the state.

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