Cutting edge technology is providing land managers and the broader community with fire information and potentially life-saving early warning tools.
Based on Landgate's award winning FireWatch service, which professional fire and emergency personnel in regional areas have been using since the late 1990s, the MyFireWatch website provides instant access to bushfire information to people living and travelling in regional communities. This information can be accessed by anyone on a range of devices.
MyFireWatch is the result of a collaborative effort with Landgate providing the technology and Edith Cowan University (ECU) the researchers. It was partly funded by the Australian Research Council.
It uses information from satellites, whenever available during the day, to map the location of fire hotspots. The service displays fire-related information and, in the case of lightning activity, the updates are as frequent as every 10 minutes.
The website also displays previously burned areas, greenness of vegetation, weather observations and links back to the relevant state government agency responsible for emergency services alerts – in Western Australia, this is the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).
It is a user friendly version of FireWatch Pro and has been developed specifically for people living, visiting and travelling in the northern region of the State.
FireWatch Pro is the second generation of the original FireWatch program, Australia's premier online bushfire information system. It is aimed at land managers and those who want additional tools and more spatial information around bush fires.