Skip to main content

Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

Online fire management service a hotspot for funding

You are here

Press Release

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.

“The Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association welcomes the confirmation of funding for the North Australia Fire Indicator and reiterates its belief that the system should be rolled out nationally," NTCA CEO Ashley MAnicaros said.

"This important tool has been developed by the Charles Darwin University and this funding will allow operations to continue as we head in to our wildfire season," he said.

"The Federal Government has recognised the importance of this tool and we hope that the Royal Commission into Bushfires will recommend that NAFI be rolled out nationally. The Commonwealth already owns the intellectual property but its real strength is that it is run and operated on the ground in a regional area like Darwin. We would hope this would continue to be the case in any national roll out.

"This funding has been possible through the concerted lobbying efforts of a number of key stakeholders including the NTCA and corporate members, CDU, indigenous land managers, the NT Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources Eva Lawler and the National Drought and Flood Agency.”

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.
NTCA Twitter