08 October 2009

Northeastern QLD

Today was a busy day for wildfire across Queensland; bushfires were reported across the state with many threatening houses and 'property'. Significant fire activity was noted near Rockhampton, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast hinterland. A fire ignited this morning on Bribie Island, in the vicinity of Brisbane.

Further north, the long-running fires continue. Firefighters from the southern part of the state are moving north to provide some relief for weary crews. Fires of note in the region include the 9000 ha Bluewater fire, about 30 km from Townsville, and a several fires in the Atherton Tablelands threatening a B-n-B, among other things. Here is a lengthy (85!) photo gallery of some of these latter fires can be found here.

The image is from the Aqua MODIS around 1445 of 8 October, showing the stretch of coast between Cairns (C) and Townsville (T). The Atherton Tableland fires are visible in the north; the Yungaburra fire is the one closest to Cairns. The Bluewater fire is producing quite a thick smoke plume in the south, curving as it moves offshore and blowing over Magnetic Island, just off the coast from Townsville.

Fire weather conditions today were worse in the southern part of the state, but probably only in the very high category. RH was quite low in the afternoon in those regions, but winds and temperatures were moderate. In the north, conditions were fairly typical for the time of year.

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