A new smart phone app will allow forestry workers and fire managers to predict the behaviour of forest fires.
Crown research institute Scion has developed an Android-based application that calculates how hot and fast a fire is likely to spread through different vegetation types.
Fire managers can input wind speed, humidity, and slope of a fire to predict how it will move.
Fire scientist Grant Pearce says 20 years of research has gone has gone into the app’s database.
"People used to just use their phones for calling 111. Now firefighters can use them to calculate a fire's rate of spread, its fire intensity, flame length and a whole lot of other useful measures for managing the fire fighting,” Pearce says.
"We used data collected from experimental burns and wildfires to develop tools that help fire managers to make decisions about how best to tackle any given fire.
“These tools started out as paper-based lookup tables and field manuals. Over time, we evolved these into software applications, which are now designed to run on smartphones."
An Apple-based app will be developed following the Android version’s completion.
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