The worst fire danger spots will be much easier to identify, thanks to revolutionary new technology being developed at the Australian National University.
The idea is to put equipment the size of a shoe-box into space.
On it would be sensors able to detect how wet or dry patches of ground or forest were right down to 10-metre stretches.
The Canberra scientists aim to get the system up and running within two years, so transforming the ability to pin-point dry, flammable areas in three summers time.
The technology will be specifically tuned to detect changes in Australian plants and trees such as highly flammable eucalypts.
Initially, the satellite would provide periodic updates on patches of territory that were getting drier, but eventually real-time information could be relayed to analysts on the ground (and eventually to computers which would analyse automatically).
There are already satellites which see the big picture of weather movements across continents. The Bureau of Meteorology, for example, gets information from a Japanese satellite.
But these weather monitoring satellites don't look at detail small enough to be useful to monitoring fire danger at a very local level.
Surveillance helicopters like the one used across the ACT during the summer can identify hot-spots but the aim is for the satellite system to do it for the whole of the country and, eventually, all the time.
The ANU Institute for Space has allocated $1 million to the project.
ANU fire expert Dr Marta Yebra said, "I never dreamed I would be designing a space mission to get the specific data on fuel conditions that firefighters need to plan ahead of bushfire seasons."
She currently works with emergency agencies on how fuel load affects fires and their likelihood.
She advised NSW Rural Fire Service during the recent terrible bushfire season.
She said that one use would be to plot the likely direction of a fire, say to work out who was in its path.
"With this mission we will receive high-resolution infrared images and data of fuel conditions that will help firefighters on the ground," she said.
"This infrared technology and data, which is not currently available, will help to target controlled burns that can reduce the frequency and severity of bushfires, as well as their long-term impacts on Australia's people, economy, and environment.
"We will gradually build up our capacity to monitor these bushfire risks in Australia.
"At first, we will focus on long-term monitoring. Within the next five years, we plan to be able to monitor changes to our landscape and environment in real time."
The other research leader, Professor Rob Sharp, said the satellite equipment he was developing was "compact and lightweight".
He said that this project, if it was successful, would improve Australia's ability to gather information.
"We are experts at how to use the data but we are relying on foreign entities to provide it."