Project Forest Foresight: Enhancing Tasmania's Fire & Forest Management Through Collaborative Technology Insights
In the heart of Tasmania, a groundbreaking initiative known as Project Forest Foresight is poised to revolutionise the management of natural disasters and forestry. Led by Indicium Dynamics, this collaborative project brings together key forest and fire managers to implement a technology-driven approach that enhances the prevention, prediction, detection, and response to fire disasters across the state. By leveraging existing technologies and networks, Project Forest Foresight aims to achieve beneficial environmental, social, and economic outcomes for Tasmania's forest managers and communities alike.
Climate Change: Driving the Need for Better Fire Management
The project has been formed at a time when many governments and climate agencies are issuing warnings and predictions about the impact of climate change on global weather events. For example, according to the World Meteorological Organisation, global temperatures are likely to surge to record levels in the next five years. In Australia, the impact of climate change is already being felt, with longer fire seasons, an increase in high fire danger days, and more frequent and intense fires. As a result, Australia is facing an unprecedented level of bushfire risk.
A recent study shows that climate change has increased by 30% the risk of extreme bushfire seasons in Australia, like the one in 2019/2020.
Given these challenges, the need for effective fire management strategies that prioritise prevention, early detection, and rapid response has never been more urgent. While originating in Tasmania, Project Forest Foresight holds enormous potential to revolutionise forest and fire management practices not just across Australia, but also globally.
Fire Danger Rating signs used to inform public of the level of alert
Building disaster resilience at a state-wide level
The project will deploy a range of Digital Forest Technologies to collect real-time data across selected private and public forests and wilderness areas. This data will then be shared across the industry and agency participants to provide forest intelligence about environmental variables that will optimise practices relating to two key aspects of disaster risk management:
Project Forest Foresight will equip forestry managers with valuable insights into local environmental conditions and risk factors, enabling evidence-based decision-making for prescribed burn activities. This technology-driven approach facilitates the timely, safe, and efficient deployment of assets and personnel. It also encourages improved local community communication and engagement.
The project deploys cutting-edge technology to remotely detect and monitor fires during fire seasons. This allows for efficient deployment and monitoring of firefighting assets, collection of local weather and environmental conditions data, and sharing of information with adjacent landholders, firefighting agencies, and local communities for a coordinated response to fire events.
A firefighter with a grass fire
The power of industry-level collaboration to create disaster resilience
Project Forest Foresight will expand a comprehensive state-wide network of IoT monitoring devices within managed forestry and wilderness areas. These devices collect real-time data and feed it into a secure, shared data platform, providing forest managers, supporting agencies, and local communities with the information needed to make informed decisions about forest management practices and activities. This project aligns with the Tasmanian Disaster Resilience Strategy, focusing on understanding disaster risk, reducing disaster risk, working together, and being prepared for disasters.
Project Forest Foresight aligns with the four key goals of the Tasmanian Disaster Resilience Strategy:
Understanding disaster risk: By improving situational intelligence through remote monitoring IoT technology, the project enhances understanding of factors like fuel moisture, soil moisture, and local weather conditions.
Working together: The project promotes collaboration between organisations responsible for managing forested areas, facilitating data sharing, communication, and cost-effective solutions.
Reducing disaster risk: By deploying technology that provides better visibility of forest conditions, Project Forest Foresight will help prevent and mitigate forest-related disasters.
Maximising preparedness for disaster: Real-time environmental data and early warning systems contribute to effective and efficient resource allocation and response.
The project will utilise various network connectivity options, such as LoRaWAN, satellite, and cellular networks. It also deploys a range of Digital Forest Technologies, including fuel and soil moisture sensors, weather stations, fire detection cameras, and water resource monitoring systems.
An example of the technological elements to be utilised in Project Forest Foresight
In addition, the project will also incorporate Fire Foresight, a fire detection solution that merges Robotic Cats’ AI Wildfire Detection software with Indicium’s IoT connectivity and data insights. Read more about this partnership in our blog post.
By addressing the common challenge of fire risk and management collectively, the effects of change can be magnified, leading to a more significant and widespread transformation. Shared research and innovative solutions reduce duplication of efforts and costs, enhancing industry credibility and sustainability. The project also offers cost savings, reliability, scalability, and improved forest management. It optimises forest management processes, enhances operational safety, and ensures timely fire event identification, benefiting both the forest industry and local communities.
The project commenced in 2023 and will progress via planned infrastructure rollouts occurring in phases that align with the 2024, 2025 and 2026 burn seasons.
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For more information about the project, please contact Jamie Lawrence
0408 585 360