--The Hierarchical Predictive Framework--

Level 1: ; Level 2:
This page shows current Alerts for Blow-Up Fire Event potential.

7 JULY 2024.

This is an Operational Trial.
It is intended to be an intelligence product to aid in informed decision making, and should not be used in any other way.
Recent pyroCbs (2023b, Nymboida, 25 October; 2023d, Pilliga, 9 Dec; & 2023e, Pilliga, 18 Dec) were fully consistent with HPF Alerts.


If anyone uses this draft model operationally, can they please send their results to the author:
Rick McRae
Current SSTA charts
(NOAA Coral Reef Watch)
Click maps to see at full size on NOAA site.
Current monthly Indian Ocean SSTA chart
Current monthly Pacific Ocean SSTA chart


This reflects interactions between land and sea that influence synoptic patterns conducive to wildfires (or rain).

Current Alert Status:


[Click on image to enlarge.]


There no alert in place. Widespread rain in NSW has removed the threat.
Residual dryness persists in Victoria, however Winter weather should remove any threat of a BUFE.


Rivers in the west of the region are still dry, as recent rainfalls occurred further east. As cooler weather has set in there is no residual potential for a BUFE or a pyroCb during the coming month.
Current Alert Status:


ANALYSIS: All river flow sites in the east have increased away from trigger levels.
Those in the west are still low. There is a need to monitor whether all sites reach high flow levels in the coming months.

An alternate perspective is provided by BoM rainfall data for thelast five months. There is some level of drought settling in west of the Snowy Mountains and in western Tasmania. This needs close monitoring.


With no alert in place, it is recommended that FBANs and other technical specialists learn more about BUFEs. Operations at Level 3 require use of the BUFO2 model to assess the potential for a BUFE during an on-going fire. This requires a series of data feeds specified in the model. It is suggested that FBANs should skill-up on using the BUFO2 model.

Click here for the BUFO2 worksheet.

Click here for a PowerPoint presentation on BUFO2, from a workshop at the AFAC21 Conference.

Could anyone using the spreadsheet during the HPF trail please copy their results to us.

Page prepared by:
Adjunct Professor Rick McRae
UNSW Canberra
School of Science
Bushfire Research Group


This work is based on both analyses of data from Black Summer and operational work.
The structure of the four-tier Hierarchical Prediction System is designed to progress into smaller-scales of timeframe and function, shifting from seasonal outlook to incident operations:

HPF is described in a peer-reviewed paper in the October 2023 edition of the Australian Journal of Emergency Management.


The table and map below describe the stream flow reference sites used.

  • A new site 18 has been added - near Ararat in Victoria to represent dryness north-west of Melbourne.
  • These plots are of data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and WaterNSW (https://realtimedata.waternsw.com.au/water.stm).
  • These sites do not reflect risk to life or property, rather they are from streams with long records that are not dammed or otherwise signficantly modified, and are intended to reflect underlying hydrological dynamics. Elevated levels or concave drying trends indicate wet landscapes. Near minimum flows or low flows decaying in a convex curve are indicators of a River Drying Event.
  • Note that minimum flows are not zero flows - the value reflects the circumstances at the flow measuring station.
  • Also note that many catchments burnt out during Black Summer, and this may cause anomalous flow dynamics.
  • There are occasional disruptions to data provision, causing gaps in the graphs. These may be updated as datasets are updated.

1. Clyde R at Brooman (site ID 216002)
Min. level = 0.40 m.
2. Macdonald R at Howes Valley (site ID 212021)
Min. level = -0.10 m.
This site has questionable data - the river is notorious for silting up after major wildfires.
3. Goobarragandra R at Macs Crossing (site ID 41000261)
Min. level = 0.90 m.
4. Macalister R at Glencairn (site ID 225219)
Min. level = 0.30 m.
5. Towamba R at Towamba (site ID 220004)
Min. level = 0.35 m.
6. Kowmung R at Cedar Ford (site ID 212260)
Min. level = 0.40 m.
7. Mann R at Mitchell (site ID 204014)
Min. level = 0.20 m.
8. Clarence R at Paddys Flat (site ID 204051)
Min. level = 0.55 m.
9. Hastings R at Mt Seaview (site ID 207015
Min. level = 0.55 m.
10. Barrington R at Bobs Crossing (site ID 208001)
Min. level = 0.58 m.
11. Murrumbidgee R above Tantangara Reservoir (site ID 410535)
Min. level = 0.45 m.
12. Tooma River at Pinegrove (site ID 401014B)
Min. level = 0.88m.
The Federal Government has gazetted the previously used site (Tooma R above Tooma Reservoir, site ID 401554) as a Commercially Sensitive Site under the Water Regulations 2008. It has been removed from this page.
13. Shoalhaven R at Hillview (site ID 215208)
Min. level = 0.45 m.
14. Queanbeyan R at Tinderry (site ID 410734)
Min. level = 0.70 m.
15. Reedy Creek (site ID 403221)
Min. level = 0.22 m.
16. Wadbilliga R at Wadbilliga (site ID 218007)
Min. level = 0.75 m.
17. Gudgenby R at Mt Tennent (site ID 410731)
Min. level = 0.45 m.
18. Hopkins R at Ararat (site ID 236219)
Min. level = 0.075 m.


Early June 2024
Early May 2024
Middle of April 2024
Middle of March 2024
End of February 2024
Middle of February 2024
End of January 2024
Early January 2024
End of December 2023
Early December 2023
End of October 2023
End of September 2023