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 30 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 )
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 30 December 2001 shows 8 controlled fires. The locations of these fires are displayed in the statewide fire situation map below.
Fig.2. Statewide Fire Situation Map of Victoria, 30 December 2001
(for legend of symbols see: National Resources and Environment)
Fig.3./4. This images of “Severe Brush Fires Near Sydney, Australia ” was acquired by
Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor. .
For details see:
Source: Nasa´s Earthobservatory
(Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land
Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC )
Fig. 5. Smoke from fires near Sydney taken by the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor
(SeaWiFS) on 27 December 2001.
For details see:
Source: Nasa´s Earthobservatory
(Image courtesy the SeaWiFS Project,
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE)
Operational Significant Event Imagery (OSEI)
The following significant events were identified by Satellite Analysis Branch meteorologists and reviewed by the OSEI support team of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):
Fig. 6. NESDIS/OSEI NOAA-12 POES AVHRR LAC satellite image, 28 December 2001.
Smoke (indicated by the yellow arrow) is visible blowing out into the Tasman Sea from uncontrolled fires burning in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia. Winds of up to 55 mph and temperatures of 95 degrees have contributed to the intensity of the blazes. The Associated Press reported that the wildfires forced nearly 3,000 people from their homes
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 Alice Springs District. Western Australia CENTRAL WEST High LOWER WEST High CENTRAL WHEATBELT High GREAT SOUTHERN High SOUTHWEST High SOUTH COASTAL High TOWN OF PORT HEDLAND High SHIRE OF ROEBOURNE High SHIRE OF ASHBURTON High SHIRE OF EAST PILBARA High KIMBERLEY High
Latest News on Forest Fires in Australia: see: Recent Media Highlights on Fire, Policies, and Politics: Bushfire set to worsen according to weekand weather predictions (published by ABC News Online)
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service is urging people living under threat of bushfires to remain vigilant despite today´s respite in conditions.
Australia livestock, crops escape worst of fires (published by PlanetArk) Fires killed about 5,000 sheep and about 100 cattle in the past two days, but crops, mainly wheat, had beeen harvested before the fires hit, the New South Wales Farmers Association told yesterday. Australian officials fear fires will flare again (published by PlanetArk)
The blazes could flare again with a return of high temperatures and strong winds over the weekend.
NSW Ablaze several articles (published by The Sun-Herald/The Sydney Morning Herald)
Burning questions after week aflame (published by The Sun-Herald/The Sydney Morning Herald)
Canadian Erickson Air-Crane Helitanker from Victoria to attack N.S.W. fires (published by The Sun-Herald/The Sydney Morning Herald)
As the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) will be closed between 31 December and 1 January, please find latest news on bushfires in Australia on the following website:
New South Wales Rural Fire Service: http://www.bushfire.nsw.gov.au/main.htm
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
and click on Global Emergency Response.
At 12:00 GMT the GFMC received a message from Russia indicating that the Russian Government through the embassies in Canberra and Moscow have offered support by the Ministry for Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) to rpovide services of the IL-76. Further negotiations between the countries are expected.
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