The way in which fires move through country can be very complex and hard to predict particularly in the vast tropical savannas of northern Australia. ‘Incendiary’ is a fire spread simulation game that allows us to ‘play with fire’ and explore the effects of a range of weather and landscape variables on fire behaviour which can assist thinking about strategic fire management.


Of particular interest in Northern Australia is the application of early dry season mitigation burns to reduce fuel loads and thus reduce the impact of hot late dry season wildfires. The models are not attempting to predict fire spread but rather provide a useful teaching and planning tool when thinking about fire management operations. The Incendiary models provide a virtual lab to explore fire management scenarios, to facilitate discussion between different land managers and across cultures and build common understandings related to key fire management issues in Northern Australia.

Read more about how the Incendiary models work here.


For participatory planning and training activities, the models are projected onto sand that is shaped to fit the terrain or 3D printed landscapes. Creating a 3D terrain surface to run the model over helps in understanding topographic and vegetation effects on fire. More on the 3D tech here.

This work is being developed by Rohan Fisher from Charles Darwin University and being currently implemented through a number of partnerships with Indigenous land management agencies in Arnhemland and with the Northern Territory government through the National Disaster Resilience Program (NDRP). More information about the P18K16_EducationTech_350x350

Arnhemland and NDRP programs can be found on this site.

The tools and applications described in this website resulted in CDU/Rohan being awarded the 2018 AFR National Higher Education – Education Technology  Award.