In late November 2011, bushfires damaged or destroyed up to 20 properties in southwestern Australia, forcing residents to take refuge on a nearby beach, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. According to a bulletin from the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) of Western Australia at 7:30 p.m. local time on November 23, residents still in their homes no longer had time to evacuate, and were encouraged to defend their properties, or take refuge in areas already burned.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image at 2:05 p.m. local time (6:05 UTC) on November 23, 2011. Red outlines in this image indicate high surface temperatures associated with actively burning fires. Smoke billows from multiple blazes, but especially from the fire near Kilcarnup. Emergency bulletins applied to that community as well as nearby Prevelly and Wilderness subdivisions.
By 9:50 p.m. local time, FESA reported, the fire threat had temporarily eased, but conditions could worsen at any time. FESA warned residents to have their bushfire survival plan in action.
FESA. (2011, November 23). Alerts and Warnings. Authority of Western Australia. Accessed November 23, 2011.
Trenwith, C. (2011, November 23). Bushfire burns homes, too late for evacuation. The Sydney Morning Herald. Accessed November 23, 2011.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.
Aqua – MODIS
Regular updates of Western Australian wildfires on ABC News: