10 October 2007

Australian Bushfire Activity: 28 Sep-7Oct 2007

Below is the latest 10-day hotspot composite map for Australia taken from the NASA MODIS Rapid Response website. The dates of the composite are 28 September through 7 October 2007.

Over the last 10 days, fire activity continues to be focused in the northern reaches of the country, particularly the Northern Territory. Many of these fires were discussed in the post NT Update, right before the end of the composite period. The fires discussed there are readily visible on the composite map.

There continue to be large fires burning in the Kimberley. At this time, the largest fires are burning in the central portion of the region, with large sections of the west having previously burned out. All told, a total area of approximately 4.7 million hectares (not contiguous) has been burnt since August. The areas currently ablaze represent an upswing in activity since the previous overview.

Several medium to large areas of hotspots are noted in the Pilbara, south of Port Hedland.

Far north Queensland also continues to see some fire activity in the greater Weipa area, as well as in the vicinity of Cairns. None of these areas seem especially large, and the total area covered is roughly the same as last period.

Further west, about 230 km from Cairns, two large area have been active over the last ten days. Fires in this general vicinity were noted in the previous update. I think I over-reported the area in these fires there. A better assessment has them at roughly 50 000 ha each.

SE QLD and northern NSW still show widespread hotspot activity. This region, and indeed much of coastal NSW has been very active over the past 10 days, with several fire bans issued, one home destroyed near Salt Ash, north of Newcastle and a large,difficult-to- control bushfire nears Evan's Head.

Much of this region has been subject to rain and severe weather (after the time of the composite) which initially hampered fire-fighting efforts, but has since brought the Evan's Head fire under control.

Several hotspots are noted in the wheatbelt regions of WA. These are likely fuel reduction burns. There are also a few hotspots noted in Victoria recently. These are fuel reductions burns, as well.

Some widely-scattered wildfire activity in the desert regions of southeastern WA.

No comments: