Fire Detection Technology

Fire-Ed Up Scenario 1:

Welcome to the Fire Detection Technology supplementary page for the stage 5 iSTEM, Fire-Ed Up Unit of Work. This is a resource site setup to support teachers to implement the Fire-Ed Up Program.

Fire-Ed Up is funded by the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer, developed from Central Coast Council’s Award Winning program and produced by the Hunter Innovation and Science Hub.

Unit Background –
Australian Fire Danger Rating System

In 2022 Australia introduced a new fire danger rating system providing clearer and more accurate information to communities at risk of bush fire. The Australian Fire Danger Rating System brings together the latest science and knowledge of fire behaviour, is supported by extensive community research, and is the most significant change to the fire danger rating system in more than 50 years.

The previous fire danger rating system was found to be approximately 40% accurate whilst the new reporting system is now more than 60%, but there is room for improvement.

Scenario 1

Fire Detection Technology: Develop a cost-effective, deployable technology to detect bushfires early. This may include microcomputer technologies, sensors, satellites, robotics, AI systems, or data analysis techniques for rapid detection of potential fire conditions.

Research tools available

Develop a cost-effective, deployable technology to detect bushfires early.

Investigate these and more:

  • Microcomputer technologies
  • Sensors
  • Satellites
  • Robotics
  • AI systems
  • Data analysis techniques

Questions to consider:

  • What is available?
  • What status are these technologies?
  • How are they deployed?
  • How can they be improved?

Downloadable Resources

iSTEM – Scenario 1 Student Resource Folio

Download the Fire-Ed Up Scenario 1 student resource folio.

Download Scenario 1 Resource Folio >>>

NSW RFS Firefighters Pocket Book

The NSW Rural Fire Service Firefighters Pocket Book Dec 2010 edition.

Download PDF >>>

Australian Fire Danger Rating System

Australian fire danger rating system – Fire Behaviour Index Technical Guide V2.1 Oct 2023.

Download PDF >>>

Mathematics in nature

Understanding bushfire activity handout – Indigenous knowledge from the University of Melbourne.

Download PDF >>>

Video Based Resources

The following are a mixture of Fire-ED Up original video resources and others that you might find useful.

New technologies in bushfire management

Deb Sparkes from AFAC National Projects and Innovation speaks about the upcoming technologies being used to manage, predict and prevent bushfires (21:36 minutes).



The NSW Government is funding new firefighting technology with hopes it will help frontline workers worldwide. These include digital tags for trucks & equipment to ensure everything that is needed can be tracked quickly (1:02 minutes)

Inside CSIRO’s world-class bushfire research facility where scientists work to better understand how bushfires behave, what conditions make them worse, and the best ways to respond. (2:47 Minutes)

Drones are becoming an important tool in fighting bushfires… from detecting hot-spots & mapping damage to repair powerlines (1:58 Minutes)

The app provides a national view of fire events, fire spots, road closures, weather, and other critical bushfire information. (3:42 Minutes)

Artificial intelligence could help predict devastating bushfires. Work is being done to create apps for both the public and firefighters to yuse.  (1:14 Minutes)

Aerial footage taken with a thermal aerial video at Mallacoota on 31 December 2019 at 11pm shows the extent of the bushfire front in the East Gippsland area. (1:13 Minutes)

Helicopters are essential for fighting remote fires in NSW national parks, where fire crews can be dropped with all their equipment for up to 24 hours  (0:40 minutes)

Hear how NPWS firefighters use technology like lightning detection systems and FLIR (forward-looking infrared camera) to fight bushfires  (0:50 Minutes)

How can mapping of bushfire-prone areas help reduce the impacts of future bushfires? Hear from Dr Chandrama Sarker’s team at @CSIRO to learn more (1:32 Minutes)

Firefighters use many tools to fight wildfires such as drones, robots, satellites and radars, dragon eggs, fire retardants, fire-fighting foams, superabsorbent polymer gels and more. (7:08 Minutes)

What if the satellites orbiting above Australia could detect very small fires before they became problematic? This is the challenge facing UniSA PhD student Liang Zhao. (2:49 Minutes)

Other Resources


Australian Fire Danger Rating System 

Core Electronics Fire-Ed Up Guide

NSW RFS – Fires Near Me Website

Bushfire Prepare WA Government

CSIRO Guide to rate of fire spread models for Australian Vegetation

Australian Bureau of Meteorology

NSW Rural Fire Service – Neighbourhood Safer Places

NSW Department of Education – Bushfire and Grassfire Risk Ratings Categories

Mindtools – Brainstorming

iTEachSTEM Resources


iTEachSTEM – Orthogonal Sketching 

iTEachSTEM Pictorial Sketching

iTEachSTEM Annotated rendered sketches

iTEachSTEM – Making a Prototype

iTEachSTEM – Iterate and Test

iTEachSTEM – Communicating Design Solutions

Other Resources

Bushfire Survival

Online RFS Bushfire Survival plan

Bushfire Survival Plan PDF version


NSW RFS Firefighter Pocketbook – Android

NSW RFS Firefighter Pocketbook – IOS

Hazards Near Me – Android

Hazards Near Me – IOS


Himawari-8 Satellite Viewer Introduction Video

Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s Satellite Viewer Site


Spatial Information eXchange

NSW Department of Education – Digital Learning Selector



Splat3D – Drawing the core 3D Shapes Playlist

Other Videos

AVA Define and Identify – Dr Nick De Leon from the Royal College of Art