Bushfire History Data Project

The information represented on this page has been put together to openly communicate the 2021-23 Bushfire History Spatial Data Project. 

Project Overview

The Bushfire History Spatial Data Project is part of the Bushfire Data Challenges program, supported by the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), which is developing innovative digital infrastructure solutions with the aim of improving Australia’s bushfire resilience, response and recovery. The ARDC is funded by NCRIS.

Overarching Project Goal

Using the resources provided/available to the Project Team and Work Stream Partners we will deliver an "aggregated and harmonised burnt extent fire history data on a national scale" product.


Project Summary

The Project Statement as submitted:

"Nationally Aggregated and harmonised burnt extent fire history data (Stream 1) will provide Nationally consistent fire history data for Australia.  Through collaboration between National, State and Territory agencies to produce a standardised state and national products.  Funding will support the collaboration and assistance to agencies for the supply of datasets that can be combined into National Fire Boundaries and History datasets.

The products will support National Emergency Management, National Fire Danger Ratings System and associated risk management tools, biodiversity management, carbon accounting, bushfire research and open data for the general public.  This project will full-fill a long-standing gap and demand for National Fire Boundaries and History datasets.

Using modern technology, web services, open data with the goal of meeting F.A.I.R data principles.  With improved satellite imagery data supply and cloud computing processing power, a satellite derived historical fire history for the nation can be created." Source: Bushfire Data Challenges Proposal Form, Page 3, 2021)

Project Timelines

AFDC Timelines.JPG

Project Work Packages

The Project is broken down into the following 5 work packages:


Gap Analysis

  • Gap analysis data and report

  • Stakeholder engagement plan

  • Proposed national data framework

  • EM metadata gap analysis




Curating and harmonising fire history data from state agencies

  • ETL tools and code

  • Aggregated cross border data, 

  • Web services/APIs from each state providing harmonised data

  • Dashboard on continuity of the service and the up-time of each service.

  • Data sets meet F.A.I.R data guidelines, and implement stakeholder engagement with users.


Geoscience Australia


Continuation of the AFAC fire history dataset review to identify and agree on proposed the national framework 

  • Phase 1: Stakeholder list, historical analysis, challenges

  • Phase 2: Governance agreement 

  • Phase 3: Specification for national product, operational scenarios, licencing


AFAC with

assistance from EMSINA


National burnt area products

  • Burnt area mapping approach report

  • Routine, automated, satellite-based burnt area assessment

  • WMS + WFS (vector) + Raster (image) classification

  • Landsat 8 + Landsat 9 adaptation (September 2021 launch) + Sentinel 2a + 2b support

  • Open-source software enabling input by third parties / access for researchers


Geoscience Australia


State Capability Uplift

  • Onboard and manage a BA, build work packages, prioritise work packages, States build uplift capability

  • All States meeting a minimal viable product to maintain sustainable National aggregated datasets.

  • All States data supply and process rated against the agreed standards and framework.  With an understanding that it will always be a sliding scale dependent upon State resourcing and priorities.  The change in rating before and after the capability uplift being a performance measure for the project.

  • Assistance provided to States to meet F.A.I.R data guidelines, in the form of webinars and fact sheets.




Project Progress

Gap Analysis Meetings

Project Funding

Exact breakdown will be released in the coming weeks


Jurisdictional Uplifts


Business Analyst


Geoscience Aust.


Project Out-of-Scope

  • The Project Team are aware of the potential for Scope Creep and Project Distractions.  Therefore, to avoid any confusion on what this Project will work on and subsequently deliver the Project Team have identified the following as out-of-scope:

    • Bushfire Severity​ (Data and Modelling)

    • Bushfire Behavior (Data and Modelling)

    • Fuel Loads (Data and Modelling)

    • Bushfire Modelling (all)

    • Bushfire Impact (Data and Modelling)

  • This list will be updated as more Project Distractions are identified.​


Project Changes/Additions

The Project Team are open to small changes/additions to the Project.  However, these changes/additions must not:

  • impact delivery timeframes,

  • redirect any funding and/or resourcing,

  • change the overarching deliverable as outlined above 

If you wish to suggest a change/addition to this Project that is not listed in the Out-of-Scope section above please contact the Project Team Lead with the following information:

  • description of the suggested change/addition

  • benefit of the suggest change/addition

  • resources required to introduce/undertake the suggested change/addition (estimate) 

  • any funding to support the suggest change/addition

Once received your change proposal will be submitted to the ARDC and the Project Steering Committing for consideration.


Getting Involved

If you wish to get involved in this Project please contact the Project Team Lead


Project Team

Project Administration

Lead Contact


Bus. Analyst

Work Packages Leads

Work Package

Work Package




Work Package


Simon Oliver


Steering Committee


Kane Orr



Mike Wouters



Naomi Withers



Simon Oliver



Project Documentation

Project documentation will begin appearing here soon