The West

WA has been lucky to so far avoid the disastrous bushfires burning in the rest of the country, according to State's emergency service.

As New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania all swelter and battle major blazes, Perth and the rest of WA have been relatively unscathed by fires, despite warnings of another potentially lethal fire season.

However, Allen Gale from the State's Department of Fire and Emergency Services said the State had so far been lucky.

"We have been fortunate so far this year but we are only at the start of the worst part of the bushfire season in WA," Mr Gale said.

"Preparations should already have been done, and we are asking people to make sure they have got their survival plan ready so that they know what they are going to do."

State Government reports tipped another nightmare bushfire season in 2013, with a combination of a heavy fuel load, a dry winter and unhelpful weather forecast.

Those weather conditions saw a heatwave in the week leading up to New Year's Day, ending with a scorching 42.1C on New Year's Eve, 13 degrees above the December average.

The State's average temperature for the last week of 2012 averaged a maximum of 39.3C, making it the hottest week in 80 years.

The Bureau of Meteorology said 2012 was the hottest year in Perth in 116 years, with the mean daily maximum temperature of 25.7C in the city equal to the highest on record.

Almost all the months in 2012 were warmer than normal in Perth, with the exception of February and November.

Perth recorded seven heatwaves - characterised as three or more consecutive days with maximum temperatures of 35C or higher - in 2012, the second highest number recorded in any one year.

The West Australian

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