Fires in Southeast Australia

Fires in Southeast Australia

2 February 2009

A crippling heat wave and strong winds in southeastern Australia contributed to an outbreak of forest and grassland fires in Victoria in late January 2009. By 30 January, about 5,500 hectares had burned and at least 10 homes had been destroyed, reported the Australian Broadcasting Agency (ABC). The homes were located in a small community near the town of Boolara. Nearly surrounded by wildfire, the town had also run out of water and lost power, said ABC News.

This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite was captured on 30 January. A large plume of smoke spreads southward from a fire (outlined) that appears to be burning in a small area of forest west of Churchill (a larger town near Boolara) in Victoria’s Gippsland region. The forest is dark green in contrast to the surrounding grass or cropland. The fire, says ABC News, started as two blazes in plantation forests in the Strzelecki Ranges. The large version of the scene shows a wider area that includes several other fires.

30 January 2009

The high-resolution image provided above is at MODIS’ full spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel.

(source: earth observatory)

See also latest news on the media page:

  • Victoria fire crews still on alert (published by, 1 February 2009)

  • A city paralysed by heat, bushfires and blackouts (published by, 1 February 2009)

  • Half of all bushfires deliberately lit: report (published by, 1 February 2009)

  • More homes lost in Victoria bushfires (published by, 31 January 2009)

  • Firefighters battle to protect Melbourne’s major electricity transmission (published by, 31 January 2009)

  • Heatwave, bushfires to continue in sweltering Victoria (published by, 31 January 2009)

  • Bushfires burning in Gippsland, 18,000 still without power (published by, 30 January 2009)

  • Fires to cut Murray-Darling flows (published by, 29 January 2009)

  • South coast bushfires escalate, residents warned (published by, 29 January 2009)

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