Existing technology developed in Australia is proven to detect all fires within 10 minutes of ignition, even fires the size of a small truck.
Current practices in WA can take hours to respond to fires, especially if the fires start at night. The devastating Waroona-Yarloop fire in 2016 was alight for more than 24 hours in a small area before the wind changed and the fire got out of control in a matter of hours. Repeated calls to emergency services over this period did not result in any action. This was not reported in the Ferguson Inquiry into the fire.
Responding to fires within 30 minutes is estimated to save $500 million annually across Australia.
A partnership between Optus and Australian National University is refining a system to detect fires within 60 seconds of ignition, from an integrated network of on-ground cameras and micro-satellites.
Himawari-8 satellite, which scans Australia every 10 mins. Photo credit: Wikipedia