09 November 2009

E Gippsland VIC

Noting the first significant fire activity in VIC this evening as the season winds up. The fire is burning in Cape Conran Coastal Park between Cape Conran and Bemm River. It has burnt around 1100 ha as of this evening. The fire is Going but no 'property' is currently under threat at this time. [INFO]

The image is the true colour image from the Aqua MODIS, around 1600 LT. The smoke plume is visible, trailing off toward the north with the sea breeze. No hotspot was detected as this is on the very edge of the swath. The image is garish (to me, anyway...) because I have applied 'Auto Adjust Color' to brighten it up. Bairnsdale and Orbost, 60-70 km apart, are marked on the image.

The fire weather conditions across VIC and in the high to very high range. It is much warmer than normal across the region, with maximum temperature anomalies of 8-12+ degrees over most of the area. In Gippsland, temperatures were in the upper-20s. Further west, in Melbourne and Adelaide (very far west!), temperatures have been in the mid-30s. Hot weather is expected to persist through the end of the week. Fortunately, the winds have remained light to moderate, helping to moderate fire dangers.

While the fire danger situation isn't too drastic now; it's hot, but the season is early. Instead, this hot weather is setting the stage for later in the season – drying the land and the forests and curing the grass, creating fuel for later fires.

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