Fires in Australia

Fires inAustralia

21 November 2006


Fires on Cape York Peninsula

Large fires were scorching the savannas of northern Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula in mid-November 2006. When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed overhead on 20 November 2006, the sensor detected dozens of active fire locations (marked in red). The burn scars the fires have left behind are dark brown compared to the unburned savannas. Frequent fire is part of what maintains the tropical savanna ecosystem. The area experiences both naturally occurring (lightning-triggered) fires as well as prescribed fires set by traditional Aboriginal land owners, farmers, andranchers.

AQUA
20 November  2006

The high-resolution image provided above has a spatial resolution of 250 meters perpixel.

(source: EarthObservatory).

For more on the role of fire in tropicalsavannas, visit the website of Australia’s Tropical Savannas Cooperative Research Centre.


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