11 November 2007

Australian Bushfire Activity: 28 Oct - 6 Nov 2007

Below is the latest 10-day composite hotspot image for Australia from the NASA MODIS Rapid Response Global Fire Maps. The dates of the composite from 28 October through 6 November 2007.

During this period, fire activity is focused in the northern portion of the continent, particularly in QLD, from the Cape York Peninsula and into the Gulf Country regions of the state. Although numerous fires are burning, no reports of Significant Fire Activity of have been made on the QFRS web site...

The fire level of fire activity on Cape York is about the same as noted in the previous composite. These are generally relatively separate fires rather than a huge organized burning area. A broad range of activity is seen from Auruku down south towards Kowanyama. Similarly, the broad area abour 150 km WNW of Cooktown is also two or three smaller fires. These were also reported in the last update.

New fires are seen further south in Queensland, toward the Gulf Country and Central Queensland regions, east of Normanton and in the vicinity of Croydon. There aqre several individual areas of fire, some quite large. Using archived MODIS imagery from the NASA Rapid Repsonse, the fires in this vicinity appear to have originated around the 30 October. There is evidence of convection in the vicinity on this day, so lightning is a possible ignition source of these fires. On Friday, 9 October (after the period of the composite...), sizes of some of the fires in this vicinity as estimated using the NAFI website were:

  • croydon south 428 000 ha
  • croydon west 62 000 ha
  • miranda downs 220 000 ha
  • strathmore 60 000 ha
  • strathmore east 70 000 ha
  • highbury south 165 000 ha
  • waitan 75 000 ha

In the remainder of eastern Queensland, isolated hotspots are observed. No major fire activity is indicated.

In the region of the Gulf straddling the NT/QLD border, the very large fires noted in the last composite have been extinguished. Several smaller areas, near the coast have started during the composite period, and have continued afterwards. Four main areas were seen, ranging in size from 25 000 to 125 000 ha.

Fire activity also continues in much of the NT as well, but is considerably diminished in many areas. Much of the western NT and eastern Kimberley, extending south in the NW SA received an early bout of heavy rainfall, with well above normal totals being seen (which is actually pretty easy to do, as it normally doesn't rain at all...). Eastern portions of Arnhem Land remain active. One large area of 170 000 ha is seen, as well as numerous smaller areas. In the central portions of NT, the 'fast-moving' fire near Rabbit Flat stands out quite prominently (This is how I noticed it...).

There continues to be several large fires burning in west Kimberley. Many of the smaller fires in the east are no longer burning, like due to the precipitation. The remainder of WA is also reasonably quiescent, a few isolated hotspots in the Pilbara, and a few (likely agricultural/ prescribed fires) noted in the forested areas of the SW.

In SA, a contiguous region of hotspots is noted in a very remote region to the NE of the Nullarbor, probably close to the railway. It appears to have occurred on the 28th and 29th of October. Little of interest (other than the hotspots...) is visible in the imagery from those days – no smoke, etc.

The remainder of the country is quiet. Much of the SE has seen significant precipitation during this at least part of this period, likely dampening fire activity for at least a few weeks. The fires note previously in Tasmania, associated with the 'October bump' are out. No major incidents have been reported in NSW since the middle of October, and no incidents are currently listed on the NSW Rural Fire service website. There are a few widely scattered hotspots in the SE; these are likely controlled burns or other short-lived phenomena.

No comments: