CSIRO tooling up for quicker bushfire emergency responses

The CSIRO and the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) will develop a nationally consistent bushfire modelling and prediction capability.

The bushfire simulation tool will be developed from the CSIRO’s “Spark” fire prediction platform, and will open the way for “bushfire prediction opportunities across borders and over different landscapes”.

The science agency says Spark Operational will be integrated with the latest meteorological information, as well as land slope, vegetation and other landscape information to help inform the positioning of firefighting resources and make data-driven decisions to keep communities safe.

For longer-term hazard planning, fire services will be able to use Spark Operational to support decisions about where to conduct fuel reduction burning to gain the most protection for communities.

It can also be combined with climate and vegetation models to estimate fire-based risks in the future because of climate change.

The tool is expected to become fully operational over the next three years.

CSIRO recommended a nationally consistent bushfire modeling and prediction capability be developed in its Climate and Disaster Resilience report which it prepared for the federal government last year.