This study investigates the influence that the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Inter-decadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) have on long term daily weather conditions pertinent to high forest fire danger in New South Wales, Australia. Using historical meteorological data for 22 weather stations to compute the daily value of McArthur's Forest Fire Danger Index (FFDI), it is shown that a strong relationship exists between climate variability, on a range of time scales, and forest fire risk. An investigation into the influence of ENSO on fire risk demonstrates that the proportion of days with a high, or greater than high, fire danger rating is markedly increased during El Niño episodes. More importantly, this study also shows that the already significantly enhanced fire danger associated with El Niño events was even further increased during El Niño events that occurred when the IPO was negative. The potential to use simple indices of climate variability to predict forest fire risk is therefore demonstrated to be significant.