Officials have already given "catastrophic" warning signals for fires in three states this summer and are preparing for an arduous bushfire season.

The "catastrophic" warning signal was developed after so-called Black Saturday in February 2009, when 173 people were killied in wildfires and thousands of homes were destroyed in Victoria state.

Typically bushfires are a threat from October to March, when there are high temperatures and low humidity levels.

Lightning strikes often start fires in the dry environment.