I wish there were more official sources to reference here, but WA emergency services are really letting us down – maybe we’ve had our expectations raised by the excellent use of these communication channels in Queensland recent weeks. Perth media has been slow to ramp up; but AM radio is by far your best source.
FESA is now DFES – Updated, Permanent Links list now here – the rest of this page is out of date.
UPDATE – Feb 7, 19:00 WST – Thankfully, hearing the ‘All Clears’ rolling in now as the fires come under control. Good to see social media in action, hope we can convince the government to bone up for the next emergency. Thanks, everyone, for keeping us informed. Sending out prayers and strength to those who are now rebuilding.
The following links will become obsolete soon, but hopefully serve as a reminder of the breadth of coverage that has been made available without government intervention.
UPDATE: The most useful tweet yet:
@Landgate‘s ‘FireWatch’ Maps – refreshed every 2-4 hours – http://firewatch.dli.wa.gov.au/landgate_firewatch_public.asp
A Bushfire Monitor map taken from the same satellite data – different format
CSIRO’s industrial-grade ‘Sentinel’ Maps – again, same data, more complex UI
Note: there are no official emergency operations using social media at the moment. Do not rely solely on Twitter – refer to the FESA Alerts website or the media*.
This link searches all known ‘perth fire’ twitter accounts, hashtags and search terms – it’s exhaustive, but starting to become unwieldy, clogged with media organisations’ headline tweets (the ‘-rt’ switch is useful)
The lighter-weight ‘perthfires/wafires/bushfires’ hashtags are more focused: http://twitter.com/#!/search/perthfires OR wafires OR bushfires
Active Media Outlets
UPDATE: good to see Premier Colin Barnett’s staff is down with the tweeps (albeit ‘unofficially’ – The twitter account is not operated by Mr Barnett.)
UPDATE II: Subsequent tweets (1, 2) instead attribute this account to an unnamed public servant hoping to encourage Mr Barnett to embrace #socmed (social media).
UPDATE: FESA does not have a Twitter account, and @WA_Police would prefer updates to come from emergency services – thanks @SeraphimSP for verifying and @jasonjordan for agitating. (Search on ‘perthfires socmed OR social OR SM‘ for a cross-section of the feedback)
UPDATE: Gallows humour, once again; Join the Facebook page Dear perth, feel free to borrow our water to put out your fires. love qld
UPDATE: A couple of links to track the perthfires hashtag activity via twitter