29 September 2009

Australian Bushfire Activity: 8-17 September 2009

The image shows the latest 10-day composite map of hotspots for Australia from 9-17 Sept 2009. It was extracted from the NASA Rapid Response Global Fire Maps website. That site has been down for a few weeks, so the last update in this format is from about a month ago.

As a whole, recent fire activity is occurring at about the same rate as last year, although the locations of the fires are different. Last year at this time saw activity mostly occurring in NT; this year there is considerable activity in QLD. Two years ago also saw considerable activity in the NT, including widespread wildfire in the Tanami Desert.

As mentioned, the bulk of activity during this period has occurred in QLD. Much of this activity has been noted in from posts earlier in the month. Many of the areas currently of concern have been burning for some time. Visible in the image in QLD are fires near Rockhampton, the north coast near Townsville, Cape York, and Carnarvon National Park. A widespread area of hotspots is apparent throughout SE QLD. Some of these are fires and some are artificial hotspots from industrial activity.

Hotspots are also visible along much of coastal NSW, extending to near the VIC border. This activity in the south is very unusual for this time of year by several months. The northern coastal activity is fairly normal.

Venturing further afield, the fires in the Gulf country near Booraloola are visible. Considerable activity, normal for this time and place, is also apparent in Arnhem Land in the Top End of the NT. More unusual is the high activity on the Tiwi Islands,north of Darwin.

A large cluster of hotspots is visible in the Kimberley. Estimating from NAFI, that fire burnt around 60 000 -80 000 ha. Also present was a fire on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula. Further west, in the Pilbara, is a loose cluster of hotspots south of Port Hedland and Roebourne. This activity is larger than has been observed in the previous few seasons.

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