Streaming from the sky

Streaming from the sky

The new capabilities of our expanded aviation fleet have been put to work, with the new live streaming camera - to gather intelligence and assist in strategic decision making - used during the Belair fire in the Mount Lofty Ranges.

The Air Observer Machine has a live streaming camera that provides us with access to high definition imagery, augmented reality mapping to display road and track names, infrared penetration of smoke to detect the location of the fire edge and hot spot detection.

This new capability greatly improves the CFS's ability to make better informed strategic decisions based on the conditions, fire behaviour and potential infrastructure under threat, helping us provide greater protection to South Australians.

The infrared technology allows us to look through the smoke and pinpoint the exact location of the fire front, flanks and any remaining hot spots. Augmented reality mapping is another tool which provides our Senior Operations Officers with exact locations and data that can show exactly where the fire is, so they can better predict where the fire could be in the coming hours.

The camera's infrared technology was used during the Belair fire to search for hot spots from the air so that crews on the ground were able to confirm the fire had been contained and no spot fires had spread into the thick scrub surrounding the area.

This capability is a fantastic additional tool for the CFS in protecting the South Australian community. The expanded aerial firefighting fleet, which has increased this year from 26 to 31, provides more support for frontline firefighters and better protection for communities across SA.

The aircraft is based in the Mount Lofty Ranges at the Claremont Airbase but can be flown to any location across the state when required, such as utilised for hot spot detection on the Mt Benson and Avenue Range fires in the Lower South East, and Danggali Conservation Park, in late December 2023.

1 February 2024