The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Aqua satellite acquired this image on 17 October. Fires are outlined in red; to the east, smoke pollution was a problem in populated coastal communities.
The densest plume hangs directly over Sydney, though the brighter white streak is probably a cloud. The largest fire is the State Mine fire, burning in the Blue Mountains near the Lithgow area.
The fire has burned more than 20,000 hectares and damaged an unknown number of properties.
Source: Earth Observatory, NASA
17 October 2013, will go down as one of the worst fire days in New South Wales history. 90 wildfires burned and 36 of them out of control and threatening communities near Sydney, Australia. Dry vegetation, high temperatures (above 34° Celsius), and erratic winds gusting to 90 kilometers per hour combined to create extremely dangerous fire conditions. Thousands of people have been evacuated because of the fires, and all affected communities have received emergency warnings. Between the State Mine and Linksview Road fires, hundreds of homes may have been destroyed. The third large fire in the image is the Hall Road fire. Despite its size, the blaze has caused little damage and is nearly under control. It may be a few days before the other fires are under control. Weather conditions are expected to improve, but the fire danger will remain high.
Recent Media Reports on Fires in the United States: Note: The hyperlinks on the left side of each news are password-protected (User ID and password to enter the GFMC database are available for partners of GFMC. To obtain the ID and password, please send your query to firstname.lastname@example.org). The links on the right side (in brackets) are leading to the original news source; sometimes these news are expiring rather swiftly – a reason for the establishment of the internal GFMC database):