Camera technology helps in early bushfire detection

Issued: 22 December 2016

Remote camera monitoring technology is helping with early bushfire detection in some of the State's most remote and fire-prone areas, thanks to assistance from the NSW Government.

The RMTek system could prove vital this summer by helping authorities detect blazes, giving residents time to leave for a safe place with family members, pets and belongings.

Acting Premier and Minister for Regional Development, Skills and Small Business, John Barilaro, said the Armidale-based company RMTeK, has installed its cameras at a range of locations.

Fire monitoring cameras are now in place at:

  • Mount Tindal between Grafton and Glen Innes
  • Browns Knob between Grafton and Coffs Harbour
  • Point Lookout between Ebor and Armidale
  • Mount Poppong above Bulga in the Hunter Valley
  • Bucketty above Central Mangrove on the Central Coast
  • Narrow Neck Fire Tower at Katoomba
  • Avon Fire Tower near Mittagong
  • Mount Mumbulla above Bega

Two more cameras will be installed at Mount Youngal, between Khancoban and Thredbo, with another planned for Coricudgy in Wollemi National Park, above Rylstone.

In October 2013, three separate bushfires destroyed 200 homes in the Blue Mountains. "RMTeK is an innovative regional company which produces these sophisticated and robust systems to allow for monitoring of remote areas, including for bushfire detection," Mr Barilaro said.

"Every minute counts when fire threatens and these cameras are helping protect our communities by giving early warning if a bushfire breaks out."

Minister for Emergency Services, David Elliott, said the technology allows authorities to pinpoint the location of the fire and take immediate action.

"They allow for 360-degree views of bushland and national parks with video images relayed to a web-monitoring platform accessible via computer or mobile device," Mr Elliott said.

The cameras have a zoom viewing distance of up to 15 kilometres, allowing about 70,000 hectares to be viewed at each camera location and bushfire monitors log onto their local camera sites to check isolated areas for signs of smoke.