New weather stations are being rolled out across Victoria to help fire agencies better respond to bushfires and support safer and more effective planned burns thanks to funding from the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes today visited the Heathcote Fire Station to see one of the new automatic weather stations at work.
CFA has received ten new portable and remote automated weather stations, with the Government providing more than $680,000 to buy and maintain the new units.
The new automatic weather stations will improve Victoria’s weather observations to allow firefighters to generate more accurate predictions of where a fire might spread, and use more precise local data for community warnings.
There are seven portable automated weather stations, which will be used on location to help firefighters understand fire behaviour on the ground during an incident, or measuring the weather conditions at a specific site in the lead up to and during a planned burn.
These standalone units can be set up in only 15 minutes and record temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, rain and solar radiation as well as fuel and soil moisture content in the surrounding area, transmitting this data to CFA and the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) for analysis.
These remote automatic weather stations are transmitting their data via 4G or satellite iridium technology, which will appear on the BOM website.
There are three static remote automated weather stations permanently situated at Ballan, East Trentham and Glenburn, where there are no permanent weather stations to provide high quality, localised fire weather observations.
In addition to continuously providing weather data, these static stations will also be used for detailed analysis of weather during bushfires, planned burns or other emergencies.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes
“The new automatic weather stations provide on the ground data that will be vital in making timely decisions as an emergency is unfolding.”
“It’s crucial that our firefighters and emergency services have the right equipment to predict emergencies and quickly warn communities.”
“These new automatic weather stations will allow them access to real time weather conditions on the ground – valuable intel for all country communities.”
Reviewed 14 June 2022