Mapping experts assist VIC firefighters

11 January 2007

In response to the bushfire crisis in Victoria, Geoscience Australia mapping experts have been sent to assist fire-fighters, by predicting where fires are heading, and to provide likely damage assessments.

Landsat 7 images showing fire damage from Walhalla in the south to Myrtleford in the north: 2 Jan 2007

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock approved a request for Commonwealth assistance on 20 December after available resources had been exhausted, with Victorian staff either on duty or stood-down for rest or welfare purposes.

"The Government is ready to provide any help it can and to fill the breach when firefighting resources are stretched," said Mr Ruddock when announcing the assistance.

Following the announcement Australian Emergency Management (AEM) activated the Commonwealth Disaster Plan which provides a framework for Australian Government assistance to State and Territory governments when their resources are limited.

Using GIS systems GA staff have been, and are, working in the areas of Benalla and Traralgon, providing relief for Country Fire Authority staff and allowing operations to keep running smoothly.

GIS plays an important role in the distribution of information about the extent and behaviour of fire, both to community members and strategic planners. Strategic planners use GIS to plan for water bombing and fire breaks.

Affected Victorian communities, particularly in the Gippsland region, have been kept up-to-date at daily meetings involving the display and distribution of maps showing the fire extent and closure of roads and parks.

For current bushfire information please see Sentinel: The national bushfire monitoring system.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013