Spatial Bushfire Community Warning Products

The 2018 Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference is almost here again, this year the Conference will be held over the 21-22 May at The Star Gold Coast.

Mr Ben Twomey, Project Officer with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services joins us at the Conference to discuss ‘Spatial Bushfire Community Warning Products’.


During bushfires, providing the most reasonable and useful time and space information for inclusion in community warnings products is critically important to achieve the best possible community safety outcomes. To achieve this, it is important that such predicted bushfire impact times and locations be derived using the best available tools, data and techniques.

In June 2017 the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Predictive Services Unit (PSU) created an interactive spatial community warning map capability linked directly to SABRE stochastic fire spread predictions.

This new capability is produced by trained Fire Behaviour Analysts (FBAN) using the best available weather data, situational information such as air operations mapping and fire ground word-back, prediction tools such as Phoenix, and prediction techniques such as SABRE Fire random sampling to generate community warning guidance. This approach sees the community warning guidance and the operational fire behaviour and spread guidance being provided to the fire manager coming from the same source. It seeks to provide incident controllers and fire managers with an intuitive spatial product to help them formulate timely and accurate community warning products.


Ben has a Master of Science Degree in Operations Research and Statistics, and a graduate diploma in information management and analysis. He has been building and applying discrete event simulations of complex systems across aerospace, mining, manufacturing and supply chain since 1999 to assist critical decision making under complexity and uncertainty. Ben is also a volunteer Crew Leader and trained Fire Behaviour Analyst (FBAN) in the Queensland Rural Fire Service. Since 2015 he has created the Simulation Analysis-based Risk Evaluation (SABRE) capability, enabling significantly improved fire spread prediction and decision support services within QFES.

For more information on the 2018 Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference and to secure your spot, visit the conference website.