A park ranger has teamed up with a group of tech developers to create a smartphone app that has the potential to change fire management around the country.
Scott Brook has been managing wildfire risk in Queensland national parks for the past 15 years.
"I've seen a lot of the pitfalls that fire managers can fall into if they don't do their planning well enough," he said.
Mr Brook said currently, land managers inside and outside of government agencies had to carry out a long list of complex calculations to determine fire danger levels for current conditions.
He and the team have now developed a way to quickly and accurately predict fire danger ahead of time.
Their app is called Farenheit 4701.
"It predicts seven days in advance and uses the Bureau of Meteorology's seven-day forecast, and applies the CSIRO's fire danger algorithm to show what the fire is likely to do for the next seven days," he said.
The app will not only allow users to determine the best time to light a hazard reduction burn, but will also help them decide how to best keep it under control.
App development is continuing
Mr Brook is now working to gain financial support and cooperation from state fire and emergency authorities to further develop the app to a point where it can be released to the public.
"Anyone that's dealing with broad scale land burning will benefit from this decision tool," he said.
The development team was formed at an event called GovHack earlier this year, and members work in their spare time to write code, fix bugs, build data sets and design layouts.
Software designer Ben Wonnocott said their goal was to make the app free to download and use.
What the app will not do is grant permissions from authorities to land managers to carry out a scheduled burn, but Mr Wonnocott said there was potential to develop that capability in the future.
"There is also the potential for adding in permit application and additional material where, if the fire danger rating is too high, they can link off to other websites and either get more information or potentially contact authorities if they need to," he said.
"We're pulling data from the free areas of the Bureau of Meteorology, but they have a lot of other data you can actually provide paid access for, which would give us a lot more power and accuracy."