NAFI’s Practical Mapping Tools: The Homepage

Developed in 2002 by the community of fire researchers and fire managers involved in the Tropical Savannas Cooperative Research Centre, NAFI was designed to facilitate access for the general community of northern fire managers to regularly updated maps of active fires and burnt areas. Even over this short time, the internet-based technologies and IT systems used to access these satellite data have evolved significantly and this rate of change is likely to continue.

Open NAFI and explore the following:

1. Read this first

Read the advice on uncertainty first. The satellites used are only capable of mapping the approximate location of active fires; their detection of fires is affected by cloud cover and other factors.

2. Explore the rectangle tabs on the right of the home page

These tabs assist with further information on how to:

  • Get NAFI’s Mobile App – how to download NAFI’s mobile app and find information about the mapping coverage as well as view a video demonstration on how to use it.
  • What’s New? – here you can subscribe to the NAFI newsletter, view historical newsletters and view the latest site updates.
  • Help – this links to a page that takes you to help PDFs and videos.
  • Information Hub – also links to provides links to the help page as well as provides links to NAFI’s Fire Edge Mapper, Infographics and hotspot animations and pages on using digital maps.
  • NAFI on Google Earth – provides information on how to download kml files for viewing in Google Earth.
  • Contact Us – for information on who to contact for your NAFI needs.

3. Areas

You can quickly bring up a map of your local area using this menu of pre-set maps. Clicking on the arrows on the left will reveal a drop-down list of sub-grouped local pre-set maps. Clicking on a map title will then bring up a map on the screen of recent fire activity in that area.

4. The satellite image

The homepage satellite image shows a view of the current cloud cover across Australia courtesy of Geoscience Australia’s Sentinel website. By clicking on the image in your area of interest you can also bring up map of recent fire activity across the broad region of where you click on.

5. Important notifications

Occasionally there will be developments that affect the maps of recent fire activity that are useful to know about. These might be episodes of extensive cloud cover in the fire season that limit the detection of active fires, or a technical problem that has interrupted the fire mapping. This information will be displayed in the menu bar above the map, in the space to the right of the standard menu tabs.

NAFI data is used in day-to-day fire operations by a range of fire managers across Northern Australia, with different uses at different stages throughout the fire year. The tools on the site have been grouped into tabs according to their use.

The following pages will outline the features within these tabs and how these might assist with your fire management operations.