Bushfires in Australia

Bushfiresin Southern Australia

26 January 2005

The fire situation in South East Australia is heavily taxing the resources of State fire agencies. In addition, severe fire weather hasbeen forecast for the new few days. Consequently, support resources have been requested by Victoria and South Australia.

Around 1,000 CFA and DSE personnel are managing a large number of fires atpresent. The main fires being:

  • In the Grampians (western Victoria) where the 105,000 ha (compare figure given below!) fire is threatening 6 townships.
  • Near Anakie (between Geelong and Ballarat) which burnt 7,000 ha and closed the Geelong-Ballan Road.
  • Moondara fires where 132,000 ha have been burnt near Erica. The risk continues under today’s NE winds, particularly for pine plantations
    north of Yallourn North.

The bushfire in Grampians National Park in western Victoria had grown to more than 122,770 hectares (1,227.7 squarekilometers, or about 303,000 acres) as of 25 January 2006. All access roads to the park have been closed to the public as firefighters battle theblaze. With several large fires burning in other locations throughout the state, the government had declared a statewide total fireban.

25 January 2006
22:20 hrs UTC

This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite shows the massive blaze on25 January 2006. The actively burning parts of the fire that MODIS detected are outlined in red. The thick smoke hides the ground from view and spreads far to the west over the neighboring state, South Australia.

South Australia
South Australian firefighters are still working on the Ngarkat Fire (North Eastern) and Kangaroo Island fire. However, both are in acontained state. There are no going fires at present. However, the state has a blanket of smoke in many areas resulting mainly from thefires in Victoria.

Western Australia
The tropical cyclone over the Tiwi Islands brought favourable conditions to southern Western Australia. Approximately 2-3mm ofrainfall fell overnight on their major fire near Dwellingup. This aided the fire suppression. Now the focus is on consolidation via trackingand mopping up.

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