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Online fire management service a hotspot for funding

Media Release: 26 June 2020

  • Federal funding to ensure the North Australia & Rangelands Fire Information (NAFI) service’s 2020/21 operation.
  • NAFI provides near real time fire tracking data for land managers, Indigenous communities managing their country, cattle producers, and savanna fire management projects under the Emissions Reduction Fund.
  • Website recorded more than one million hits per month last fire season.

The Australian Government is continuing its support for an innovative fire information service.

The North Australia & Rangelands Fire Information (NAFI) service provides information on fuel loads, hot spots and fire scar histories to help land managers prepare for and manage fires.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud today joined Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor to confirm a $729,006 investment in the NAFI service.

“The NAFI service operates from Charles Darwin University and provides satellite-based fire mapping for all of north Australia and the Australian rangelands, with the exception of Western NSW,” Minister Littleproud said.

“This is a proven, near real time fire tracking tool used extensively by many different land managers.

“The cattle industry uses it to help protect livestock, fodder and infrastructure, saving it millions of dollars a year. Traditional Owners use it to help manage Country.

“Data is everything when it comes to effective fire management and NAFI is the key provider of uniformly accurate fire histories across this vast area.

“This information is needed for planning, assessing, and reporting on fire management, and for measuring fire-based emissions.

“Agriculture will drive the nation’s COVID recovery, so it is critical the Australian Government helps ensure farmers continue to access cost-saving technology like this.”

Minister Taylor said NAFI provides crucial information to help map the extent of savanna burning across Northern Australia, including for projects under the Emissions Reduction Fund.

“Savanna burning projects recognise and build on traditional knowledge and practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Minister Taylor said.

“NAFI is a valuable tool to help Australia measure and manage its carbon reductions from avoiding late season wildfires in the savanna region.

“Today’s extension of funding for NAFI gives industry, stakeholders and emergency managers certainty for the year ahead.”

The funding comprises $407,125 from the Building Landcare Community and Capacity (BLCC) of the Smart Farms Program and $321,881 from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

Fast Facts:

  • The NAFI website was established by the former Tropical Savannas Cooperative Research Centre and northern Australian fire researchers in 2002, with funding from the Australian Government from 2012.
  • The NAFI website is currently hosted by Charles Darwin University through the Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research.
  • NAFI is driven by input from rangelands land managers (including park rangers, pastoralists, Indigenous rangers) who use fire as a tool to manage country.