Western Australian communities and firefighters are set to benefit from a new multimillion dollar investment into high-tech fire mapping capabilities to help the state manage bushfire risks.
The WA State Budget has committed $8.3 million in funding for the new high-performance aircraft and multispectral line scanner that is capable of mapping a fire in just minutes.
The line scanner can also determine the range of temperatures within a fire and help firefighters map where the fire is travelling and how best to deploy resources.
The aircraft is capable of mapping multiple fires across the state in one journey, and providing near real-time data back to incident controllers and other support staff that will make a significant difference to fire management and community safety.
The line scanner technology can also be used to map large hazards such as floods and offshore oil spills. The new line scanner and aircraft is expected to be in use for the coming 2020/21 bushfire season.
WA Emergency Services Minister, Francis Logan, said, “Accurately mapping a fire and predicting where it will go can make a significant difference in getting it under control or contained as quickly as possible.
“That information helps determine how best to deploy firefighters and other assets as well as how best to keep them safe and other members of the community.
“The McGowan Government has committed $8.3 million to ensure that our emergency services have access to highly valuable technology that can be quickly deployed and will provide near real-time data.
“Western Australia has used line scanners before with assistance from the Federal Government, but in recent years that support has not been readily forthcoming so the McGowan Government has stepped in to provide better certainty for our emergency services.”