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.
According to the news a bushfire destroyed 13 000 hectares of pasture land in the Crookwell area in New South Wales. The gouvernor of New South Wales, Bob Carr, declared on Thursday the state of emergency for the area, 175 Kilometer southwest of Sydney. More than 400 fire fighters were dispatched to the fire. The fire started on Wednesday and was favoured by dry conditions and strong winds. It was feared that the flames will reach the Abercrombie national park. According to the latest news the fire is at the moment contained.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued high fire danger for Western Australia and over the Alice Springs region, high to very high for South Australia and Victoria. For the up-to-date fire weather information of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology refer to http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Victoria reports for Friday 19 Febaruray 1999 one going fires and three controlled fires. For detailed information on the current status refer to http://www.nre.vic.gov.au/fires/index.htm. This website also contains long-term fire statistical data.
Further 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
http://msowww.anu.edu.au/~barling/firebreak/firebreak.html 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 http://www.nre.vic.gov.au/fires/index.htm
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.