Bush and Forest Fires in Australia: 19 May 1999

 

Bush and Forest Fires in Australia

19 May 1999


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 (72 KB)

Fig.1.

Fire Detection Map for Australia for 19 May 1999 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)

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued on 19 May 1999, valid for Thursday, high fire danger throughout the Northern Territoriy.  The fire weather forecast for Western Australia issued for the moment low fire danger. The last update is shown on Friday, 14 May 1999. 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 19 May 1999 three controlled fires. In the current fire season 709 fires were attended (613 in the 20 year average), which burnt a total area of 58,854 ha. 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

Firebreak

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.

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

References:
Luke, R.H., and A.G. McArthur, 1977. Bushfires in Australia. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 359 p.


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