NASA images reveal extent of Australian bushfire destruction

NASA images reveal extent of Australian bushfire destruction

23 February 2009

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Australia — Devastating bushfires that raged through the southeastern Australian state of Victoria earlier this month have been captured by NASA satellite imagery.

The fires, the worst in Australian history, claimed more than 200 lives and destroyed 1,800 houses while raging through more than 1,500 square miles (3,900 square kilometres) of Victoria’s country.

Now NASA has released satellite images taken of the region on February 17, when the bushfires were still burning.

“A daytime image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA’s Terra spacecraft captured on February 14 shows a large burned area about 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Melbourne near Kinglake National Park,” outlined an official NASA release.

“The area is still smoke-covered due to active fires. The night of February 17, ASTER captured a thermal infared image of an area just east of the daytime image. Active fires have been highlighted in red color and show the burning perimeter of several different fires.”

Satellite image shows large burned out area northeast of Melbourne. Cred: NASA

Feb 17 thermal image. Credit: NASA

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