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ACT launches bushfire risk rating tool

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The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) has introduced a “first of its kind” bushfire risk rating tool.

Developed in partnership with technology company Esri Australia, the Auto Bushfire Attack Level helps increase bushfire preparedness and prevention by giving property-level risk assessments.

The partners say the tool enables emergency services to individually assess 16,000 properties in just one hour.

It could also help develop effective bushfire management and mitigation strategies, and guide the planning and approval process for new homes in bushfire-prone areas.

“It takes in not only data sets such as location of properties and vegetation, but also dynamic data sets and feeds such as weather,” Esri Australia Public Safety Expert Mark Wallace said. “Combining those together, you end up with dynamic situational awareness.”

ACT ESA Commissioner Dominic Lane says on its worst days, Mother Nature can be unstoppable.

“Therefore, it’s important we take all of our information, all of our resources and all of our technology and combine that together and use it collaboratively,” he said.

“If we can share this with other jurisdictions in Australia and also globally, we know we have a really good way of dealing with the ever-growing and ever-present danger of bushfires.”