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Fire watch website uses satellite information

Tyne McConnon, Thursday July 24, 2014 - 16:05 EST
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A scrub fire blazes close to the road near Laverton in Western Australia, photo date unknown - ABC licensed

A national fire monitoring website which uses satellite information to track the weather has been publicly launched.

My Fire Watch, launched in Western Australia's Kimberley, is a collaboration between the State Government and Perth's Edith Cowan University (ECU).

The university's Danielle Brady says the project used research conducted in Kununurra to deliver what people wanted.

"It will show you fires that have been burning over the last three days, lightning strikes in the last few days, burnt areas and a few other bits and pieces like local weather."

The launch was attended by many different groups, from police, to tourism operators, to most obviously the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).

The site is an improved and easier to access version of a site already used by fire and emergency personnel in regional areas.

It has taken three years of research by both ECU and the government lands department, Landgate, to produce the site.

Research has been conducted in Kununurra with various stakeholders, including businesses, tourists and residents to find out what people need and want.

With the information only being updated when a satellite passes by, which is currently at 9 am and 9 pm, creators warn it's an addition to the services already available.

However, DFES's Murray Hatton says he thinks it will be of benefit.

"It's the ease of operation, as has been demonstrated in the launch today.

"There has been more technical variations of this product available for several years, but it hasn't been easy for the public to access or for the public to interrupt and use."

It's expected that in the next few years the amount of satellites going over Australia will increase and the website will be updated more frequently.


© ABC 2014

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