The Unorthodox Engineers

Australian Bushfire Map

Latest News: If you experience any difficulties, try the Google crisis map at

(old screenshot. click to view live map)

This map combines near real-time information (hourly to daily updates) from multiple public agencies to give a composite view of fire incidents affecting Australia.

It includes data feeds from:

Note well that the Northern Territory is absent from this list, as they do not provide a 'current incidents' data feed.

The app is based on Google maps and is compatible with desktop and mobile browsers. Sentinel 'Heatmaps' are computed client-side (by your browser) and therefore run as fast as your computer will allow. Reduce the number of hotspot layers if the map is slow. (especially on mobiles)

Map Updates

The map will not change after load. Refreshing the map page requests data from each agency feed immediately, so the update frequency depends on their systems. If you need more immediate alerts you should subscribe to your local fire authority's RSS feed.

Sentinel Hotpots

The MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) package of sensors is attached to two NASA satellites; 'Aqua' and 'Terra' which do enough rapid polar orbits to scan most of the world twice a day. This data is processed by Sentinel.

These satellites see into the near-infrared, and can therefore guess local temperatures with some accuracy. They are also quite sensitive to the presence of high-temperature spot sources. That means fires; either bushfires or open industrial furnances.

In most cases, major hotspot events will be accompanied by a nearby alert from the regional fire authority.

Rural Fire Services

Each of the rural fire services (except the NT) run real-time data feeds which tend to be updated most often during normal business hours, but high-priority incidents will be updated regularly even at night and on weekends.

The alerts shown on the map will therefore tend to be a relatively good overview of all 'current incidents' that the regional firefighters are attending.


All feedback and questions to:


Original Site

Where did all the other stuff go?

We have temporarily 'cleared the decks' to make way for the Fire Map, because the old site was rather heavy with experimental browser-crashing technologies that would be a distraction.

Fear not that all the circuit diagrams, sample code, and pictures of home-made robots will return soon.