22 September 2009

Southern QLD 2

Bushfires flared today across QLD, with at least eight major blazes being battled across the state:

In the south-east, there are fires on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Mount Mee near Woodford and east of Gympie.

A large bushfire at Imbil is burning on three fronts and threatening properties.

On the Fraser coast, crews are fighting a fire north of Maryborough.

There are also fires at Johnstown in the South Burnett and at The Caves, north of Rockhampton.

Many of these fires are reported as being under control or burning within containment lines as of late this afternoon, although some were threatening properties earlier in the day.

A fire ban was in effect for several regions of QLD today. In the interior regions of QLD temperatures were in the mid- to upper-30s with relative humidity around 10% and strong gusty NW winds. Fire dangers were in the very high to extreme range in much of the area.

Although not noted above, fires in more remote country reported here last week made major runs today as well; the fires in and around Carnarvon National Park showed smoke plumes extending for several hundred kilometres downstream in the image from the NASA Terra satellite around 1100 local time. (The coastal portions of this image are earlier in the day, from a different overpass and don't really show the activity reported above. The Aqua image, later in the afternoon, is unavailable as I prepare this. It is likely more striking than the one linked.) A very rough estimate suggests that an additional 5 000 to 10 000 ha were burnt today in the main fire in the park. Other new fire starts are also suggested from NAFI. As before, these fires are remote and likely of little threat to human values.

Unrelated to the fires, but also visible in the linked image is a large dust storm which impacted points further south. Canberra, in particular, was heavily affected by the dust.

Fire weather conditions are forecast to reach extreme values through much of southern and eastern QLD on 23 Sept as well, as the strong NW winds are expected to persist. This also applies to parts of northern NSW also.

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