Bushfires in Australia

Bushfiresin Southern Australia

27 January 2005

The wildfire activity in Victoria continued to worsen on 26 Thursday, January 2006.High temperatures and strong northerly winds have intensified the four major bushfires burning across Victoria.In total 27 homes have been lost, most of them in the Grampians in western Victoria and the fires are now covering almost 150,000hectares. Large bushfires are still burning out of control in the Grampians, at Moondarra in theeast, the Brisbane Ranges in the south-west, and near Kinglake, north-east of Melbourne.

Firefighters are preparing to protect homes as strong northerly winds continue to push all the blazes towards communities south of the firefronts.

Numerous, widely scattered “hot spots” are visible in this image, which is made from visible and infrared wavelengths of light detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terrasatellite on 26 January. Red outlines enclose areas where MODIS detected fires, and in this type of image, the bright pink glow usually indicates areas of openflame. Unburned vegetation is bright green, and smoke is blue.

26 January 2006
10:10 hrs UTC

The large image shows several additional fires burning in the state, including a large blaze northeast of the coastal city of Melbourne and one farther east in the Gippsland region, both of which have been threatening nearby towns in recentdays.

A smoke haze from bushfires in Victoria that is hanging over Tasmania is likely to remain for a couple ofdays. According to Hobart´s weather bureau forecast a north-westerly change yesterday brought the smoke.Southerly winds are expected to start to develop over the state on the surface, which will bring cooler temperatures forTasmania. But the upper winds are likely to be from the north to north-west sothere will be still a good chance that some of that smoke from Victoria will be continuing across thestate.
A natural-color image from MODIS (same scene as above) shows smoke spreading southward towardTasmania.

There are several bushfires burning in Tasmania but all have been contained. There is a total fire ban until the end of theweekend.

Western Australia
Heavy rain yesterday and today helped firefighters who have now contained the blaze about100 km south of Perth. But smouldering trees on almost 10,000 burnt-out hectares near the towns of Yarloop, Hamel and Waroona were still worryingauthorities.
Up to 160 people were working to secure the 86 km perimeter of the fire that was deliberately lit in Lane Poole Reserve on theweekend.
Meanwhile, a flood warning has been issued for the Fitzroy River catchment area in the north of the state, with heavy rain predicted in the next 24 hours.

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