01 December 2007

Australian Bushfire Activity: 17-26 Nov 2007

Below is the latest 10-day hotspot composite for Australia extracted from the NASA MODIS Rapid Response Firemaps website. The dates of the composite are from 17 to 26 November 2007.

The northern portion of the continent remains quite active, but the activity is beginning to show signs decreasing. The Top End portion of NT is showing significantly fewer fires than previous, as is Cape York Peninsula. In past updates, these areas have been centres of activity. A few large fires are still burning in these regions, however.

In the NT, two large regions are seen in the northern portions of the Territory. In particular, one area is roughly 200 km ENE of Kimberley has burnt about 120 000 ha. A second one, about 250 km to the SE of Katherine has affected roughly 320 000 ha. A large group of fires is also seen on the Border with WA, west of Lajamanu. This is a set of smaller fires rather than one large one. In the remainder of the NT, numerous hotspots are seen, but these are generally smaller, more isolated fires compared to the above-mentioned ones.

In QLD, the main focus of fire activity has shifted southward. The area of hotspots on the western coast of Cape York which has been persistent for several months is nearly gone. In southern portions of Cape York, inland from Kowanyama, a broad area of hotspots is noted. Much of this region was observed in the previous update. A considerable area, on the order of 2 million hectares, has been affected by a series of fires. A few small areas remain burning at the time of this writing. Several areas between Hughenden and Georgetown, the largest being roughly 800 000 ha in area, have also been effects and continue to burn. Fires near Karumba, on the coast were noted by ABC News. A large fire was also reported near Mt Isa which resulted in a mine evacuation.

The western portions of the Kimberley in WA also continued to burn. Fires in this regions have been burning since mid-July (although not necessarily the same fires!). The fires east of Derby and in the northern portions of the Great Sandy Desert continued to burn fro mthe last period. Expanded fire activity is also noted in eastern portions of Kimberley and over on the NT border to the east of Hall's Creek.

Regions of the Pilbara in WA have also seen increased fire activity. Multiple regions of hotpsots are seen, but none of them has grown to particularly gargantuan proportions -- 100 000 ha is the largest, most are much smaller than this.

Further south in WA, on the western edge of the Great Victoria Desert (perhaps in the Western Australia Mallee?), hotspots activity has increased. A particularly large area of hotspots is seen about 200 km NE of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, near Lakes Carey and Minigwal. This region appears to have started on 25November. It is out of the range of NAFI, so no size estimates is available. There are also numerous smaller areas of hotspots to the north of this region, extending from

Several widely scattered are also apparent in the Wheatbelt regions of WA. Further, several bushfires were reported in the Perth area, some of which forced evacuations in the SE portions of the city.

Bushfires in TAS, VIC and SA are also apparent on the map. Some of these fires were reported on Australia Bushfire Monitor here. The Southwest Conservations area fire remains out of control at this writing, with 4400 ha burnt to date. The fire may continue to burn for weeks as it is in inaccessible terrain.

No comments: