15 October 2009

Eastern Australia + Broome

Bushfires have been threatening homes across the nation today. A summary article from the ABC provides the details.

The RFS reports three major fires in the north of state, in the vicinity of Grafton. Tow of these fires have burnt more than 1500 -2000 ha each and remain out of control. A third, smaller fire in the area is in the process of being controlled. (video report). Houses are no longer under threat tonight. Fire weather conditions are in the 'very high' range and are expected to persist through at least tomorrow. The MODIS image is from the Terra satellite overpass around noon local time. The largest fires are the northern two. Grafton, about 30 km from the coast, is at the G.

The are numerous fires burning in QLD. The most serious is to the east of Rockhampton, where fires have been burning for more than a week. This fire forced evacuations earlier this afternoon. The fire continues to burn this evening, but houses are no longer under threat. Hot temperatures, very low RH and moderate gusty winds acted to produce near-extreme fire weather conditions in today Rockhampton.

Fires continued to flare in the Kimberley region of northwestern WA. Broome saw homes threatened again today on its northern outskirts. NAFI shows that the fires there have expanded considerably since last noted. I estimate over 50 000 ha affected at this time. In general, the Kimberley as a whole remains quite active in terms of wildfire. Most of the fires noted in the region several days ago remain burning; NAFI shows their growth and evolution quite clearly. This includes the activity in the Great Sandy Desert, the Dampier Peninsula and the northern parts of the region. Fire conditions remain seasonally high and dangerous.

Images: Broome fire: Tony Hutchinson

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