A trail of small islands connects the southeastern tip ofAustralia to Tasmania, to the south. A cluster of three large (in comparison toothers in the chain) islands known as the Furneaux Group sits just north ofTasmania. In mid-October 2006, the central island in this groupCape BarrenIslandwas ablaze.
15 October 2006
This pair of images is based on data from the Moderate Resolution ImagingSpectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Aqua satellite on 15 October. The left-hand image is a photo-like view of the area,showing the active fire locations that MODIS detected outlined in red. A plumeof gray smoke spreads northeast. The right-hand scene uses both visible andinfrared light that MODIS observed to highlight the burned area. The extent ofthe burn is dramatic: all the red areas show burned vegetation. Vegetationappears green, water appears dark blue (nearly black), while clouds appear lightblue or white. In the infrared-enhanced image, the smoke becomes a transparentblue. A bright pink glow in this type of image often indicates open flame.
Fewer than 100 people live on Cape Barren Island, most of them on thenorthwestern corner. The island has undulating, grassy lowlands interrupted byoutcrops of granite mountains. In the second week of October, two separate fireson the island burned together, creating a single large blaze that had affectedabout 78,000 hectares (nearly 193,000 acres) as of 16 October.
These images are provided at MODIS maximum spatial resolution (level ofdetail) of 250 meters per pixel.