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.
Fig.1. Fire Detection Map for Australia for 4 April 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)
high Central Wheatbelt high Great Southern moderate Southwest moderate to high South Costal moderate to high
As fire restrictions apply during the fire season, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology / South Australian Regional Office issued on 4 April 2000 the following District Fire Danger Ratings:
DistrictFire Danger Rating
high to very high
Eastern Eyre Peninsula
Lower Eyre Peninsula
Mount Lofty Ranges
moderate to high
moderate to high
Upper South East
Lower South East
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) 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.