24 Oct Stay Safe During This Year’s Bushfire Season With The Fires Near Me App
The arrival of summer for many Australians is bittersweet.
For those living near large areas of bush, summer brings with it not only wonderful beach weather, but a constant, looming threat of bushfires. It’s important during bushfire season to keep an eye on the location and severity of bushfires, to ensure you are prepared.
To help concerned NSW residents keep track of bushfires in their area, the NSW Rural Fire Service has developed the Fires Around Me app for both iOS and Android devices, which provide information on current incidents across NSW attended by the RFS and other agencies.
Users of the application can source information on incidents near them or on another designated location (e.g. vacation spot). When users first use the application, the location will be your current position, with any fires within 10KM of your location highlighted.
The list of fires is sorted by proximity to you, with the closest fires located at the top of the list. Fires within 50KM of your location will also be highlighted in red, with every incident in the list displaying information such as the closest road, town or village.
The app also uses colour coding to provide users with more information, with red indicating the highest risk fires (emergency warning), yellow bearing Watch And Act advice, blue indicating to be aware (advice) and white meaning non applicable. The information in the list view also indicates whether the fire is out of control, being controlled or under control.
You can access more specific information about a particular fire by selecting the arrow next to the fire. This page will give users information such as the status (i.e. out of control, being controlled or under control), the type of fire (e.g. bush, grass, scrub), the area (in hectares) the fire is affecting, the department which reported the fire and when information regarding this particular fire was updated.
Total fire ban information for your location is also provided by the app, if a total fire ban is active, you will be notified with the Total Fire Ban symbol, which will appear on the screen.
You will need to be aware that current incident activity is sourced from the NSW RFS incident control database, and it is not ‘real-time’ information. The information provided is only a general indication of current activity. Incident spatial location (burnt area and fire origin) update times may differ from the update time of incident details.
For full disclaimer please visit the RFS NSW website.