THE state government will support the trial of a real-time fire mapping system during this year's fire season to help better protect communities in bushfire prone areas.
"This technology offers the possibility of improving how we respond to and control the threat posed by bushfires, better protecting people and property in bushfire prone areas," Innovation and Skills Minister David Pisoni said.
FireFlight Technologies - a startup based at the University of SA's Innovation and Collaboration Centre - has received $100,000 in funding from the government to trial its FireFlight system with the CFS.
The FireFlight sensor system is mounted on a manned aircraft that is flown over an active bushfire. It takes less than a minute to fly over the fire front, create the map of the fire and deliver it to the firefighting agency, allowing it to accurately track the fire's path and potentially limit its destruction.
FireFlight Technologies founder and chief executive officer Paul Dare said the system had proved valuable to firefighting agencies during trials in Qld and Tas, and the SA trial will be the first full, season-long trial of the system in Australia.
"The fire maps provided by the FireFlight system will show exactly where the fire is at that moment.
"The maps can be updated on a minute-by-minute basis, enabling the CFS to monitor the progression of the fire and better understand its behaviour.
"The length of the trial will enable us to make changes to the system during the season, based on feedback from the CFS, so that we can ensure we are meeting their needs."
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CFS state air operations manager Nik Stanley said the trial will help to further develop the technology.
"The CFS is looking forward to seeing the results of further trials, developments and evaluations of the FireFlight fire mapping technology," he said.
"The current trial will be fully evaluated at the end of this fire danger season by our Fire Behavioural Analysis team within the CFS and our partner agencies."
The trial comes as a successful prescribed burn season comes to an end.
There was 46 prescribed burns carried out across SA, reducing the fire risk across more than 1600 hectares of public and private land.
This spring also saw a new record for the burning on private land, with 25 landowners bordering Cleland National Park working with National Parks and Wildlife Service to stage a burn two years in planning.
Environment and Water Minister David Speirs said the state government's prescribed burn program was an important investment in preparing communities the 2021-22 bushfire season.
"The state government has committed a record $37m over five years to significantly increase hazard reduction across the state as part of the $97.5m response to the Keelty Review into the tragic 2019-20 bushfire season," he said.
"This season has seen an increase of around 500ha of prescribed burns carried out compared to spring 2020, demonstrating our commitment to creating a safer, stronger and more bushfire resilient SA."
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