22 September 2007

Australian Bushfire Activity: 8-17 Sep 2007

The image below shows the latest 10-day composite hotspot map from the NASA MODIS Rapid Response website. The dates of the composite are 8-17 September 2007.

Large portions of the NT have been alight during this period. Extensive areas of hotspots are seen: Arnhem Land (eastern Top End), the Gulf regions of NT and QLD and the Tanami desert fires are prominent on the map. These fires as viewed on 18 September by the Aqua satellite, are shown in this image from the NASA Earth Observatory Natural Hazards website. A recent news item from ABC Rural also noted the ongoing NT fires.

At this writing, all the separate Tanami desert fire have now merged into one area of about 4.2 million ha. The main thrust of the fire is now towards the north. A few regions into WA in loosely the same region are showing some recent hotspots as well.

In west Kimberley, the large regions of bushfires which had been last noted in this post is also beginning to wind down. What I previously called the Thangoo fire, which was earlier affecting highway traffic, has now extended far to the east, and still has active hotspots. This fire has now burnt roughly 800 000 ha. Many of the others further north are out.

A fairly large area burnt is also apparent in SE WA. Tracing back through recent MODIS browse imagery, these look to have first been detected on 13 September. These look to be mostly out now, but another active area of hotspots was noted in the general area today.

Northwestern Cape York has an area of active fire. Closer examination indicates that there are several moderate sized fires currently burning in the 'greater Weipa' area. These are fairly separate, and appear to have been burned earlier in the season (probably in a controlled or prescribed burn)

Widely scattered hotspots were apparent in SE QLD and NE NSW. Houses in the Brisbane suburbs have been threatened during this period, but the threat has subsided to some degree. These fires were relatively small, but significant in terms of potential economic impact.

Very sparse hotspots are noted in souther NSW and SW WA. A few other isolated hotspots are also apparent in other regions.

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