The Satellite Remote Sensing Services Department of Land Administration (DOLA) routinely evaluates the NOAA AVHRR satellite sensor to detect and locate vegetation fires and high-temperature events. In Australia hot events depicted by the satellite can represent wildfires or prescribed fires as well as industrial activities (e.g., gas flares, smelters) and hot surfaces (e.g., rocks heated by solar radiation during the daytime overpasses of the satellite). Thus, DOLA displays two products of hot spot maps: the automatically generated high-temperature event maps (which include false alarms) and the manually generated fire maps. All hotspot locations are geo-referenced and where required as Australian Map Grid. On some days up to four NOAA-AVHRR passes are used to identify hot events.
The manual method (human operator) provides greater accuracy however it takes longer. Thus, the issue of the manually generated fire maps is delayed (not real-time). Hot spots are located using NOAA-AVHRR channel 3 on early morning (0050-0340hrs) and mid morning (0450-0630hrs) images.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment is responsible for the management of fire prevention and suppression on public lands in Victoria. The last updated bushfire statistic of 8 February 2000 shows 7 going, 1 contained and 17 controlled fires. The locations of these fires are displayed in the statewide fire situation map below.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued on 9 February 2000 an updated forecast for Northern Territory:
Top End, Victoria River and Alice Springs regions… Areas of rain and scattered storms. Heavy falls may lead to localised flooding and significant river and stream rises. Generally cloudy with moderate north to northeast winds, fresh at times in the Alice Springs region.
Roper-McArthur and Barkly regions… Isolated showers and storms. Moderate northeast winds.
Fire Danger Low to moderate throughout.
As fire restrictions apply during the fire season, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology/South Australian Regional Office issued on 9 February 2000 a fire ban advice for following districts. In the list below the fire danger ratings for these districts are described in detail.
Fire Ban DistrictFire Danger Rating
Eastern Eyre Peninsula
Lower Eyre Peninsula
Mount Lofty Ranges
Upper South East
Lower South East
Australia has rain deficiencies in southern areas: (published by Planet Ark, 8 February 2000) “Areas of serious to severe rainfall deficiencies in Australia remained in parts of southern Victoria, the central highlands of Queensland and Tasmania, the Bureau of Meteorology’s National Climate Centre said yesterday. Rainfall deficiencies persisted in some coastal districts of Victoria following a month of average to below average rainfall, it said in its latest drought statement. Deficiencies around Portland in western Victoria had intensified due to January totals amounting to only around 60 percent of average there, it said. … . The 40 months from October 1996 to January 2000 had been very dry in an area extending from the southern Eyre Peninsula in South Australia to Sale in eastern Victoria and also into the northeast of Tasmania. Some of these regions had had the lowest rainfall on record for the period. …”
Please have also a look on a list of links for information on Australian Fire Management Agencies:
Australasian Fire Authorities Council
http://www.ausfire.com/ The home page of the Australasian Fire Authorities Council coordinates the diverse range of activities of the different australian agencies concerned about fire
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Victoria offers a very comprehensive web site with information on fire management. In their web site current reports are provided with statistics on the fire season. Extensive background information is included along with several links to related web sites.
Satellite Remote Sensing Services Department of Land Administration (DOLA) http://www.rss.dola.wa.gov.au/apps/firewatch.html The Satellite Remote Sensing Services (SRSS) of the Department of Land Administration provides near real time hot spot detection and burned scar mapping for western Australia. In the Firewatch project the SRSS detects hotspots throughout Western Australia using the thermal channel of the NOAA AVHRR sensor on a daily basis.