Bush and Forest Fires in Australia: 16 February 2000

Bush and Forest Fires in Australia

16 February 2000

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.

click here to enlarge (54 KB)

Fig.1. Fire Detection Map for Australia for 16 February 2000 overlaid on a pan-Australian vegetation cover map.
Source fire coordinates: Satellite Remote Sensing Services Department of Land Administration (DOLA)
Source of vegetation and fuel type map: Luke and McArthur (1977)
(Please take into account, that this presentation represents mainly fire events from Western Australia and Northern Territories)

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 16 February 2000 shows 1 contained fire and 22 controlled fires. The locations of these fires are displayed in the statewide fire situation map below.

click here to enlarge (32 KB)

Fig.2. Statewide Fire Situation Map of Victoria, 16 February 2000
(Source: National Ressources and Environment)

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued on 16 February 2000 an updated forecast for Northern Territory:
North of Barrow Creek: Scattered showers and thunderstorms with areas of rain. Moderate to heavy falls may cause significant stream rises and flooding of low lying areas. Moderate west to northwest winds.
South of Barrow Creek: Fine in the southeast. Cloudy areas with isolated showers and thunderstorms elsewhere, mainly during the afternoon and evening. Moderate easterly winds.
The fire danger is generally low for the Northern Territories.

As fire restrictions apply during the fire season, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology/South Australian Regional Office issued on 16 February 2000 the fire danger ratings for following districts.

Fire Ban District Fire Danger Rating

Northwest Pastoral


Northeast Pastoral

high to very high

West Coast

very high

Eastern Eyre Peninsula

very high

Lower Eyre Peninsula



very high

Mid North

very high

Mount Lofty Ranges

very high

Adelaide Metropolitan


Yorke Peninsula

high to very high

Kangaroo Island

high to very high


high to very high


high to very high

Upper South East

high to very high

Lower South East

very high

Please have also a look on a list of links for information on Australian Fire Management Agencies:

Australasian Fire Authorities Council

The home page of the Australasian Fire Authorities Council coordinates the diverse range of activities of the different australian agencies concerned about fire


The firebreak newsletter provides a very extensive homepage with information about fire fighting in Australia, downloadable java scripts for calculating fire weather and various links to related sites

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Victoria

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)
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.

For more informations on Australia go to the IFFN country files.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien