18 February 2010

Southern WA

Several large bushfires are burning in southern WA. The region of fire activity is shown in the Aqua MODIS image from the afternoon of 18 February 2010

The large area of activity is approximately 50 km to the east of Salmon Gums (SG) in the shire of Esperance. On the image, this fire has a quite extensive area of smoke and pyrocumulus (the white) The fire is burning out of control, but is not threatening private property at this time. The fire started as two separate incidents earlier on the week, which have since merged into one event. Approximately 41 000 ha have burnt to date. Smoke from this fire can be seen southward to the coast east of Esperance (E).

Another large area of fire is seen to the NE of the Salmon Gums fire. I believe this is being reported as the Dundas Nature Reserve fire. (Dundas is at the D). This fire is burning in remote country and has burnt over 80 000 ha to date. A large area of hotspots and a broad area of dark smoke are visible in the image.

Fire weather conditions across the area are quite bad. High temperatures this afternoon were in the low-40s with RH near 10% and moderate winds. These conditions are expected to persist at least through tomorrow...

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