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Fire workshops skills fine-tuned

Land Managers in the southern Cape York Peninsula region were able to fine-tune their fire management skills when they attended two workshops in Cooktown last month.

The first event, on March 14, and facilitated by Cape York NRM, set the scene by providing background information about the North Australian Fire Information (NAFI) Website, which contains data on the fire history of northern Australia since the year 2000.

The NAFI web site was set up to provide fire managers in northern Australia with Information, mostly in the form of maps illustrating the location of fires as they have occurred in the past and where they are at the moment.

“The NAFI 'InfoNet' site was explained in detail so that participants can get fire metrics for any region of Cape York,” Cape York NRM Fire coordinator Andrew Drenen said. 

“We also covered features of the Savanna Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting Framework (SMERF). 

“And what is always a highlight, the NAFI trainers set up a 3D fire simulation model so students could create modeled burn activities and watch estimated spread across the landscape. It’s a great way to upskill.”

Andrew said the second day involved training on the Quantum Geographic Information Systems (QGIS). 

“This went several steps further, enabling students to generate their own maps of planned burn activities, as well as providing options to export maps to field devices such as smartphones and tablets,” he said. 

“All up it was a terrific two days, with a lot of skills covered, and great support from the venue facilities at the Country Universities Centre.”

The workshops were supported through funding from Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR).