Framework for Sharing Bushfire Data and Tools Between Jurisdictional Agencies

Developing a framework for sharing Australian state and territory bushfire datasets
a rural fire brigade firefighter standing in a burnt forest with a small fire burning beyond him. Image - Stuart - 507395677 /
Who will benefit
State fire and land management agencies through consistent data especially when emergencies cross state boundaries, improved planning and risk mitigation, and tools to issue bushfire warnings

The Challenge

Australian state and territory fire agencies currently use a range of tools and data sources, and have varying data capabilities with some technological barriers to sharing data and tools. This makes it challenging to coordinate research across multiple jurisdictions, which is especially important when emergency events occur across state boundaries.

The Approach

There are several steps in developing the shared bushfire data framework:

  • fire history data dictionary
  • data content standards, such as data attributes and terminology
  • access and authorisation methods (who can access, reasons and usage)
  • licensing for use of data and tools
  • privacy (specific concerns including those around the data collector)
  • provenance and attribution, specifically methods and requirements for providing credit and attribution for data and tool use
  • programmatic access, including methods of access (e.g. APIs) and frequency of data release
  • governance arrangements, including ownership, sustainability, review and change protocols.

The resulting framework will be the basis of the data sharing agreements for the fire history and fuel data projects in the Bushfire Data Challenges program.

The Outcomes

The project has developed a robust and enduring framework to facilitate new understanding of bushfire behaviour through simple access to core data sets. A key challenge was addressing technological and trust barriers, and barriers associated with sharing data and tools. The framework is enabling AFAC to use its extensive collaboration network to create an enduring capability.

The framework will be available soon.

Who Will Benefit

Fire emergency agencies and researchers

This project allows analysis of fire behaviour and suppression of cross-border fires. Interstate fire response operational procedures will be improved by having easy access to national fire history data in a consistent format enabled by the data sharing framework.

Fire and emergency service agencies

This project allows them to better target warning messages and, in turn, reduce the impact of fires on people.

Researchers who develop new techniques to assess the impact of fires on communities

This project allows them to integrate into their research various datasets using the governance framework and, in turn, develop new techniques to assess the impact of fires on communities.

The Partner

  • Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC)

Further Resources

  • View the recording and slides of Greg Esnouf’s presentation on this project at the May 2023 Bushfire Data Challenges Forum.

Contact the ARDC

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