16 April 2018

This brief blog provides a rapid response to the major bushfires in Sydney’s south-west on the weekend (14-15 April 2018).

Unseasonably warm weather (more akin to summer than autumn) caused major bushfires in Sydney’s south-west on Saturday 14 April 2018, posing a serious threat to many properties in nearby suburbs.

  • NSW RFS’ major fire updates (link)

  • BOM’s special climate statement 65: Persistent summer-like heat sets many April records (issued 13 April 2018, link)

As main information products were shared on social media (especially on Twitter) yesterday in response to the rapidly evolving hazardous event, we only make links here.

Level 1: Earth Observation & Imagery Analysis

The latest Sentinel-2 satellite imagery during the event (15 April 2018) is available, showing the fast propagation of  intense fires driven by strong westerly winds.

Level 2: Integrated Property Location Profile Report

We routinely produce property location profile reports, which contain comprehensive information on climate-warming trends, exposure estimates and ABS’s Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA, based on 2016 Census and released in late March 2018). Sample reports (each 31-page PDF and based on Version 4.3) for three suburb addresses are available:

  • Brushwood Dr, Alfords Point NSW 2234

  • St George Cres, Sandy Point NSW 2172

  • Rosewall Dr, Menai NSW 2234

Level 3: Bushfire-prone Areas (animation)

We have used the Sentinel-2 imagery (5 April 2018, immediately before the fire) and a semi-automated method to classify bushland with high accuracy. Then, we use the delineated bushland to map out bushfire-prone areas.

Note: With the developed cloud-based geospatial big data and analytics platform, we are now able to efficiently produce similar information products for future major / extreme events in Australia and around the world. We constantly enhance the cloud-based platform by including new content, analytics and delivery means.