Lead researcher: Dr Li Meng

The major risk to the $2.2B forest industry in the Green Triangle is the loss of substantial wood fibre resources caused by wildfires. For the protection of the plantation forest assets from fire, the industry is reliant on a network of manned towers for detection and a large fleet of mainly privately-owned suppression resources.

This project will allow researchers to conduct a feasibility and cost benefit study aimed at innovative forest fire detection technological solutions and optimisation of forest fire controlling decision making processes.

The findings of this project are aimed at supporting forestry management to detect and suppress fires at an early stage. As a result, a reduction in fire related damages will result in direct economic benefits such as: minimising loss due to fire damage to plantations, native forest, residential property, human, other built environments and facilities. This project will result in better management of fire risks and better protection of valuable assets, contributing to both short and long-term economic benefits (e.g. value generation through asset utilisation).

This project aims to bring new, innovative technologies and analytical methods into a system that supports and enhances fire management decision making. The project aims to describe options for next generation fire detection and suppression systems that are reliable and available for adoption by the forestry industry in the Green Triangle Region.

This project commenced with an industry and researcher workshop held 26-27 June 2019 facilitated by Euan Ferguson which helped guide the researchers in drafting the detailed project workplans using feedback received.

From this meeting both a Steering Committee and Researcher Committee were formed and meet on a regular basis.  The steering committee met on 12 December 2019 and signed off Milestones 1 and 2.  The researcher committee has held a total of 9 meetings so far.

A draft report has been developed that describes best practice of space-based fire detection and monitoring solutions and an outlook on relevant future space-based platforms and sensors. The review provides recommendations for how these space-based solutions can be applied to fire detection and monitoring in forest plantations in SA and VIC.

Our team:  Li Meng, Jim O'Hehir, Stefan Peters, Jing Gao, Euan Ferguson (Euan Ferguson Pty Ltd), Anthony Hay (ESK Mapping & GIS), Owen Salkin (Natural Systems Analytics Pty Ltd), Greg Saunder (Forest Owners Conference)

Contact information

Dr Jim O’Hehir
General Manager: Forest Research Mount Gambier
Ph: +61 8 830 28997
E: Jim.O'Hehir@unisa.edu.au

Michele Cranage
Administrative Officer
Ph: +61 8 830 28902
E: Michele.Cranage@unisa.edu.au