Fire history map to help manage devastating wild fires

Media Release

The extension of a fire history map across the entire rangelands of Western Australia, will provide up-to-date information to help manage the devastating fires that impact on lives, businesses, biodiversity and cultural heritage.

Through collaboration and support from multiple partners, and coordination by Rangelands NRM, the ‘NAFI’ website—that has been extensively used for fire mapping in Northern Australia—is now extended from the Kimberley to encompass the rest of the WA rangelands.

Rangelands NRM Innovation Development Manager Quinton Clasen said NAFI (the North Australian and Rangelands Fire Information), now has active fire mapping and hotspots added to provide several years of historical fire scar mapping. 

“Now users will be able to view the seasonality of fires in recent years, which will enable better fire management decisions and planning across the rangelands,” he said.

The WA rangelands experience problematic fire regimes consisting of overly large and intense wildfires, however, significant advances in landscape fire management have been achieved in selected WA rangelands landscapes over the past decade.

Pastoralist Kurt Elezovich, Owner of Country Downs Station in the Kimberley said fire history is an important tool for managers to understand the role of fire in the landscape.

“We use the NAFI site daily in fire season and find it really useful as an early warning system in extensive areas, being able to track a fires progress when it is still over the horizon gives us a much greater chance of being able to plan an effective mitigation,” he said. 

“This data will be an invaluable asset that can provide vital knowledge of the landscape with respect to biodiversity and vegetation cover history and will significantly contribute to important research projects that target conservation significant species in the Pilbara,” Ms Susanna Beech, Environment and Approvals Manager for Roy Hill said.

-ENDS-

Contact:
Teresa Belcher, Communications Manager
Rangelands NRM, WA
Tel: 08 9468 5253
Mobile: 0488 594 324
Email: teresab@rangelandswa.com.au 

 
[Map] NAFI expansion from the Kimberley to across the entire Rangelands
 
NOTES FOR EDITOR:

The extension of the fire history map has been made possible through a cross-sector collaboration project coordinated by Rangelands NRM, and co-funded by multiple partners. Partners include Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ), Roy Hill mining, Great Victoria Desert Biodiversity Trust, Pilbara Corridors and the Australian Government. The Rangelands Community Fire Forums identified the need, which was then driven by Rangelands Fire Leadership Group, and delivered by Charles Darwin University NAFI team. The project has been coordinated by Rangelands NRM.

About NAFI
The existing NAFI website is a mapping tool that is widely used by fire practitioners across the Kimberley, Northern Territory and Queensland. At this month’s launch of WA rangelands wide coverage, it has 2013-present histories plus hot spots. Histories back to 2003 will progressively be made available over the remaining year. The NAFI provides information that is quick, effective and simple. It works at the property and broader levels, so it is a very useful tool to support landscape scale efforts. Burnt areas on the maps are presented in a way that is practical to the user—for example, colour coded by month, alongside hotspots of active fire.

Rangelands NRM
Rangelands NRM WA is a not for profit, non-aligned, community-based group which aims to enhance the sustainable management of the WA rangelands through facilitation, collaboration and delivering outcomes. It is the largest of the 56 NRM regions in Australia, covering around 85 per cent (2,266,000 sq km) of the WA State’s land mass, and 75 per cent of the coastline.