30 September 2007

NT update

Several regions of fire are noted in the NT over the past few days.The overall situation for a large fraction of the NT is shown below in the NAFI hotspot map captured around 11 pm on 29 September. An accompanying MODIS browse image from their Rapid Response site is also show. The image was captured at 0120 UTC on the 29th. It is a so-called 721 image, highlighting the burn scars (brown splotches) and vegetation.

A pretty sparse news report from ABC News indicating that roads in the Katherine region in the Top End of NT are closed due to bushfires. The Katherine fires are visible in the center of the images. There are several largish individual bushfires which encompass the general area. These individual areas are on the order of 50-100 thousand hectares each. Looking closely at the NAFI image indicates that some of the areas between the individual fire were burnt a few months ago (prescribed burning?), suggesting that these area may not join up into an even larger fire. Few fire scars are noted at this time in the 721 image.

To the east, in south-east Arnhem Land, a large area of active bushfire is seen. It encompasses about 1.2 million ha.

Down at the NT-Q:D border, the area of fire reported previously at Australia Bushfire Monitor, continue to expand and encompass new areas. The largest fire on the NT side

('Robinson River' on ABM) has burnt about 1.3 million ha. On the QLD side of the border, the fires have continued to expand towards the northwest. They have now burnt about 1 million hectares. A news report from the ABC discussed these fires a few days ago. A partoicularly prominent fire scar is seen on the NT side of the border.

Several new regions of relatively to the west of these fires. The largest is near Tanumbirin. It has a 'ring' of hotspots surrounding a prominent fire scar in the MODIS image. It has encompassed about 230 000 ha to date. An even more recent area of hotspots is seen further to the west. These regions are likely to continue to burn more in the upcoming week or so.

Finally, the Tanami desert fires are still going. As seen on the 721 image (and the NAFI map). The affected area is huge. Roughly speaking, this fire has impacted approximately 5 to 5.5 million hectares at this time

Fires in the remainder of the country will be discussed in the regular national update, due in a few days. The 10-day period ended on the 28th, but it seems to take them a few days to get the new composite up on the website, especially when a weekend is involved...(*_*)

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