The push for bushfire preparedness is in full swing, following recent forecasts of an increased risk of fires in the months to come. The forecast came out of the recent Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Spring 2023, which predicted an increased risk of fires across parts of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory. Across the Eden-Monaro specifically, the outlook predicted an above average risk for fires in parts of the Bega Valley. Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain said she found it alarming to see how dry conditions in parts of the Bega Valley were. "While there is an increase in risk for the community, there are actions that individuals can take such as ensuring any bushfire plans are up to date and their homes are well prepared," she said. "Now is the time to be familiarising yourself with the warning systems, cleaning out your gutters, keeping your lawns short and clearing tall grass, debris and vegetation from the perimeter of your house, which could all save your property in a fire." READ ALSO: Drier than usual winter leads to early start for bush fire danger period Ms McBain said it was "crucial" that all three levels of government, along with emergency responders were prepared as the Bega Valley headed into "its first significant fire season since Black Summer". "The Albanese Government, through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been working closely with state and territory services to plan for the coming fire season, assessing capability and working to streamline response efforts," she said. "And while governments and authorities are doing our bit to building resilience to be better prepared, now is also the time for local communities to start preparing for the risk of potential fires and heatwaves." Ms McBain added that she had been proud to see her local communities preparing ahead with upgrades to local facilities. "I'm also proud to see the timely completion of local upgrades to evacuation facilities, like those at the Bermagui Surf Life Saving Club, awarded under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery grants program," she said. READ ALSO: 'If it's raining, they won't go to school': Kids battling flood trauma Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said the Albanese Government had taken "huge steps forward" in how Australia prepared, responded to, and recovered from bushfire events. "After a few seasons of intense rainfall and floods, we know that there will be a lot of stress for communities, particularly in those areas that were impacted during Black Summer," Mr Watt said. Minister Watt said the Seasonal Outlook predicted that this summer would result in more fast-moving grass and scrub fires, rather than the longer forest fires experienced in 2019-20. "We stand ready to help whenever and wherever needed, and will have a National Large Air Tanker on hand to respond quickly," Mr Watt said. "There's also a new fire danger rating system to be able to more simply explain to people what the fire risk is and we're building a national stockpile of items that are needed in disasters and we continue to do what we can to be as ready as possible."