Issue 7
Monday, 07 September 2020
Charles Darwin University
RIEL researcher Rohan Fisher
RIEL researcher Rohan Fisher

Online service provides critical bushfire support

The North Australian Fire Information (NAFI) website hosted by Charles Darwin University continues to prove its worth during the bushfire season, which reached catastrophic levels in Darwin’s rural area recently.

Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods researcher Rohan Fisher said the “near real time” information provided by the online portal was used extensively by Bushfires NT whose efforts had undoubtedly prevented damage to property and potentially saved lives.

“It’s a critically important service that is applied far more broadly than its original intention, which was to support broad environmental landscape fire management practices,” Mr Fisher said.

“It’s now used to support emergency monitoring and response, largely because it’s easy to use and the satellite-derived information is of a high quality.

“Data shows that it receives about 10 million map views a year across Northern Australia; and in South East Queensland, where we’ve noted an uptick in usage.”

Mr Fisher said that calculations based on NAFI showed that fire had burnt 2075 square km in the western part of the Top End last week.