GFMC: Bush and Forest Fires in Australia

Bush and Forest Fires in Australia

27 December 2001


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 (55 KB)

Fire Detection Map for Australia for 27 December 2001 overlaid on a pan-Australian
 vegetation cover map. Source fire coordinates (manual):
  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 mainly represents fire events
 from Western Australia and Northern Territories – today no information on fire events in the Northern Territories is available)

 

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 27 December 2001 shows 5 controlled fires. The locations of these fires are displayed in the statewide fire situation map below.

click here to enlarge (32 KB)

Fig.1. Statewide Fire Situation Map of Victoria, 27 December 2001
(for legend of symbols see: National Resources and Environment)

 

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is the National Meteorological Service for Australia and provides essential meteorological services to all sectors of the Australian community.

Fire danger:
Northern Territory High in the Barkly and 
western Alice Springs Districts. Western Australia CENTRAL WEST High  LOWER WEST High CENTRAL WHEATBELT High GREAT SOUTHERN High SOUTHWEST Moderate SOUTH COASTAL Moderate to High TOWN OF PORT HEDLAND High SHIRE OF ROEBOURNE High SHIRE OF ASHBURTON High to Very High SHIRE OF EAST PILBARA Very High KIMBERLEY High

 

Latest News on Forest Fires in Australia: see also: Recent Media Highlights on Fire, Policies, and Politics:

Fires still raging out of control around Sydney (published by Environmental News Network)
On Christmas day the number of fires raised to 100, up to 3,000 people have been forced to flee their homes. Winds of 60 kph (35 mph) fanned the infernos, which have destroyed homes, isolated towns, and cut highways and rail links across the state of New South Wales and around Sydney.

Australia wakes to third day of major bush fires (published by PlanetArk)

Bushfire threat set to worsen (published by ABC News Online)

 

The Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) has offered assistance to liaise Australian fire authorities with Global Emergency Response. Global Emergency Response offers the services of the Ilyushin 76, the largest water bomber currently available (42,000 litre tank), for international use. The NSW fire authorities have been notified by the offer. At this stage (afternoon of 27 December, local time) the indications are that NSW is unlikely to utilise this resource.
For more information on Global Emergency Response see
http://www.uni-freiburg.de/fireglobe/emergency/contacts.htm
and click on Global Emergency Response.

 

For more information on Australia see the IFFN country notes and have a look at the Australian and New Zealand links.
For background Information see also: Recent Media Highlights on Fire, Policies, and Politics


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