Monday, June 24, 2024

Tasmanian Govt team lands national honour

A Tasmanian Government tool used to help monitor bushfires has been recognised on the national stage.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s Emergency Services GIS team, who designed, developed and now run the Early Fire Detection and Notification System, were finalists in the Locate 24 National Conference.

Minister for Parks and Environment, Nick Duigan said it was fantastic to see the team, which sits within the Location Services Brand of Heritage and Land Tasmania, receive national recognition.

“The team consists of five spatial information specialists, led by Aaron Cashion, and including Robb Meijers, Peter von Minden, Bryn Roberts and Katrin Gardiner-Wyatt,” Minister Duigan said.

“The idea for the project came about through research into Digital Earth Australia, a program within Geoscience Australia, which provides a satellite imagery product the team used to configure the tool.”

The research, spatial analysis and configuration was undertaken in house, with the three Tasmanian fire agencies – Parks, Tasmania Fire Service, and Sustainable Timber Tasmania – funding the ongoing infrastructure costs of approximately $20,000 per year.

“The fire detection system has provided Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service with an important tool in supporting the Department’s fire response activities,” Minister Duigan said.

“It is particularly valuable in the way the Department detects and informs the management of fires in remote areas, including the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.”

The system has been operating since 2022.

“It includes real-time satellite-based bushfire detection and notification, and combines this with detailed maps merges information about vulnerable and flammable vegetation, landscape features, critical infrastructure, soil moisture, and location of firefighting assets,” Minister Duigan said.

“The System is used to analyse the threat and prioritise fire responses, and also detects new fire starts in near real-time and sends automated alerts.

“The alerts, along with contextual mapping layers, provides fire agencies and emergency services, awareness assisting them with decision making on resources, equipment and response coordination for bushfire.”

The national nomination follows NRE Tas’s ESGIS team winning the Environment and Sustainability Award at the Tasmanian Geospatial Excellence Awards for this system.

“Congratulations also to the winners of the Geospatial Excellence Awards, Spatial Vision, Thinkplace and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water,” the Minister said.

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