Fires in New South Wales, Australia

Fires in Australia

15 December 2006

Fires in Victoria

Australian firefighters have been battling huge fires in remoteforests and parks in the Barry Mountains (part of the Great Dividing Range) ofVictoria since early December 2006. Toward the middle of the month, fires beganthreatening small communities, and several houses were destroyed. This pair ofimages from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite was captured onDecember 14, 2006. The top image is natural color, similar to a digital photo,while the bottom image uses both visible and infrared light to thin the smokeand highlight burning areas. Red outlines trace the boundaries of areas whereMODIS detected actively burning fires.

14 December  2006

Inside the fire outlines in the false-color image, bright pink glows oftenindicate open flame. These glows appear in places not surrounded by red fireoutlines, which suggests the smoke was too thick for the software thatinterprets the MODIS data to confidently label the area as fire. Fires arespread over a wide area. Mount Beauty, Dargo, and several small communitiesalong the Macalister River are among those most threatened by the fires.

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

(source: EarthObservatory)

The current situation in Australia is covered by a number of detailedreports (see GFMC Media web page):

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