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Welcome

Welcome to the North Australia & Rangelands Fire Information service (NAFI) newsletter. It has been a while since we distributed our last newsletter; we have much new and exciting news to share.

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NAFI Funding

We are pleased to confirm the Federal Government has approved a further 12 months funding for the basic NAFI service to June 30, 2022. Funding will be provided by the Clean Energy Regulator to cover the fire scar mapping across the high rainfall zone (as these fire scars are used in SavBAT to calculate emissions for the Savanna Burning carbon projects). Given the role NAFI plays in land management, the southern fire scar mapping across the rangelands, together with the operation of the NAFI portal (to distribute these fire scars along with the hotspots and other tools) will be covered by the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.
 
The NAFI team is still pursuing three-year funding for this basic service to give us more security.

Hotspots Issue

NAFI users may have noticed there is currently an issue with one of the satellites we use to source hotspots from. The Terra satellite, operated by NASA, has an issue with the system on board the satellite that allows images to be regularly transmitted to ground stations during its orbit. This regular, close-to-real time transmission allows us to display the hotspots detected by the satellite 20 minutes to a couple of hours after they are detected. The Terra satellite passes overhead any given location on the earth late in the morning, and it provides NAFI with a hotspots update around 10am to 12pm local time. It’s taking NASA some time to fix this issue which is why we no longer have a late morning hotspot update. Hopefully the issue will be fixed soon, but Terra is a relatively old satellite and is operating well beyond its planned lifetime, so issues are not unexpected.
 
If the issue is not fixed soon we are looking to bring in ahead of schedule a new source of hotspots based on the geostationary Himawari satellite using a detection method developed by RMIT.

The NAFI Mobile App

Land managers across much of Australia can now access near real-time fire information on their mobile phones with the launch of the NAFI free mobile app. This major development gives users access to two to three-hourly updates on active fires, and regular burnt area updates streamed straight to their mobile device.
 
In places where there is no mobile coverage, offline resources like satellite imagery and topographic maps with a location marker can be downloaded before entering the area.
 
Developed in collaboration with Gaia resources the app is available on both Android and IOS. Search for NAFI in your app store.  
 
More information about the app is available here.
Mimal Land Management Ranger Everlyn Mardi uses the new NAFI app in central Arnhem Land

HiRes Mapping

You can now access regular high resolution burnt area mapping through the NAFI website for the Darwin and Kakadu/Arnhem Land regions of the NT. These maps are more than ten times more accurate than the standard NAFI burnt area mapping and are updated every 1-2 weeks during the fire season. They are being produced as part of fire management and risk reduction support projects running through the Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research. We will be continuing to add high resolution burnt area mapping products for other regions through 2021-2022 to augment the standard broad scale mapping provided as standard.

These maps are accessible through the "tools" menu item within NAFI as shown below. It is best to turn off the standard mapping for the current year when viewing the hi-res maps.
 

Improved NAFI mapping for WA rangelands

Work has been conducted over the last six months to update and improve the historic mapping in the rangelands of Western Australia. This work has included the use of Sentinel-2 imagery to identify burnt areas that may not have been identified previously. The new mapping is provided at the same resolution as the other MODIS based NAFI mapping (250m). However, the increased sensitivity of the Sentinel-2 satellite data allows for fewer errors of omission in the vast rangeland landscapes.

So far, the western Australian rangeland mapping update has been conducted back to 2015. We will also be looking to update the NAFI historic datasets for other rangeland areas into the future.
 
None of these mapping updates are in regions covered by Savanna burning projects.

SMERF

The Savanna Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting Framework is now complete and available on-line. To access this site click here or visit www.smerf.net.au
 
Through this service you can select a property or region and select a fire metric to see how it has tracked over time. This information can then be printed to a single page which includes a map, a table and a graph.
In the next development phase, the SMERF team has been working with Parks & Wildlife NT, to create sub-property assessments by reclassifying existing vegetation or habitat mapping into 3 classes:
Each class is assessed with a simple but standard set of metrics to provide a scorecard for the year:
We are soon working with Queensland Parks to develop the mapping and thresholds for Parks and Reserves in north Queensland.

Anyone interested in being involved in this project should contact Andrew Edwards (andrew.edwards@cdu.edu.au).
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North Australia & Rangelands Fire Information (NAFI)
C/O Charles Darwin University
Ellengowan Dr
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