GFMC: Bush and Forest Fires in Australia, 23October 2000
Bush and Forest Fires in Australia
23 October 2000
A new TOMS Global Aerosol Hot Spots Page provides screened close-ups of regions with active fires and smoke emissions.
Smoke over Australia, on 16-19 October 2000
NOTE: The surface background image used here is NOT part of the TOMS aerosol index retrieval.
(Source: TOMS Global Aerosol Hot Spots Page)
Huge smoke plume stretches across Australia
AUSTRALIA, October 19, 2000
SYDNEY – A massive plume of smoke stretching across Australia from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific is forcing outback pollution levels to soar to above those recorded in the country’s cities, Australian scientists said yesterday. Bushfires dotted across the remote Kimberley district of northwest Australia have fuelled the vast smoke plume, which has raised outback pollution levels to more than 10 times the normal level. The smoke plume, which stretches diagonally across Australia from the northwest to southeast, rises 10,000 metres (32,800 feet) above sea level and is visible on satellite images.
The Australian government’s scientific body said above average rainfall during the outback wet season between November 1999 and April 2000, which caused widespread flooding, led to rapid vegetation growth in the usually barren inland areas. The growth, especially grasslands used by Australia’s huge outback cattle properties, provided fuel for bushfires which have been burning for the past month.
Australia’s populated east coast is bracing for a horror bushfire season this southern hemisphere summer with hundreds of fires already scorching large tracts of land in three states, threatening homes and an oil refinery in Sydney. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) (website: http://www.csiro.au) warned that the smoke plume stretching across Australia could start to adversely affect agriculture by altering outback climatic conditions.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is the National Meteorological Service for Australia and provides essential meteorological services to all sectors of the Australian community.
Northern Territory Fire Danger
High north of Elliott and in the Alice Springs District.
Western Australia Fire Danger
Town of Port Hedland – Very High
Shire of Roebourne – Very High
Shire of Ashburton -Very High
Shire of East Pilbara – Very High
Kimberley – Moderate – High
Australasian Fire Authorities Council
The home page of the Australasian Fire Authorities Council coordinates the diverse range of activities of the different australian agencies concerned about fire.
The firebreak newsletter provides a very extensive homepage with information about fire fighting in Australia, downloadable java scripts for calculating fire weather and various links to related sites
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Victoria
The Department offers a very comprehensive web site with information on fire management. In their web site current reports are provided with statistics on the fire season. Extensive background information is included along with several links to related web sites.
Satellite Remote Sensing Services Department of Land Administration (DOLA)
The Satellite Remote Sensing Services (SRSS) of the Department of Land Administration provides near real time hot spot detection and burned scar mapping for western Australia. In the Firewatch project the SRSS detects hotspots throughout Western Australia using the thermal channel of the NOAA AVHRR sensor on a daily basis.
For more informations on Australia go to the IFFN country files.