Bush and Forest Fires in Australia: 25 January 1999


Bush and Forest Fires in Australia

25 January 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.

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Fire Detection Map for Australia for 25 January 1999
Source fire coordinates: Satellite Remote Sensing Services Department of Land Administration (DOLA)

The last update of 25 January shows several fire events in Western Australia. In the future updates of Australian fire events the GFMC in collaboration with DOLA, will overlay the fire event information on a composite Australian NOAA map or on a vegetation cover map. Please re-visit us later!

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued high to very high fire danger for almost all of South Australia. 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 several small wildfires, for detailed information on the current status refer to http://www.nre.vic.gov.au/fires/index.htm.

The following summary report for the 24 January was issued by the South Australian Country Fire Service:

INCIDENT SUMMARY 24 January 1999 5:28 PM
Several rural fires have occured around the State today.

At 1330 this afternoon six CFS crews attended a grass fire which burned 2 to 3 ha.The fire was caused by a slasher and was completely extinguished by 1530.

At 1400 the fire bombing aircraft were responded to a smoke sighting at Cherry Gardens. Eight CFS appliances also attended the fire which destroyed 3 hectares of scrub. The cause of the fire is unknown. Crews are still on scene mopping up.

The fire bombers also assisted at a grass fire at Peddlar Creek, Port Noarlunga. The fire started at 1430 and was contained to 16 ha. 15 CFS appliances and around 90 firefighters attended the incident. The cause of this fire is also unknown.

A fire which started by the side of the road at Martins Bend, Monash has destroyed 6 Hectares of scrub. 8 crews combatted the blaze which started at 1515 today. Crews will be mopping up the scene late into the evening. The cause of the fire is being treated as suspicious and is being investigated by Police.

Contact Name : Rohan Hamden
Contact Phone : 8204 3440

Further 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)
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.



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