More money for fire mapping system August 27, 2010Posted by Bahadir Sahin in Calismalar (Studies), English, Haber (News).
Tags: Black Saturday Bushfires, fire mapping system, FireWeb
The Victorian Government has increased funding for a program used to predict the speed of bushfires on high-danger days.
The $22 million cash injection will improve the mapping capabilities of the the FireWeb system, which is already used by the state’s three fire agencies.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment’s chief officer Ewan Waller says the enhanced system will be fully digital.
He says that is a big improvement from the system used on Black Saturday.
“In fact we actually had to draw lines on maps with pencils and fax them to them,” he said.
“As we know, a lot of those didn’t end up on the right desks at the right times so we’re jumping over that hurdle now.”
The developer of the new mapping system, Melbourne University’s Dr Kevin Tolhurst, says the program will give people early warning of an approaching bushfire.
He says the lack of warning to communities burnt out in the Black Saturday Bushfires was one of the big issues addressed by the Bushfires Royal Commission.
But he says the system will make an early prediction about the direction and spread of a fire and allow people in its path to respond.
“What this simulation system does if you like it provides another source of information in real time that can be used to provide maps and information to the public as well as to the fire agencies,” he said.
“It’s a major step in that direction.”