Fires across Australia’s Northern Territory •

Fires across Australia’s Northern Territory

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features smoke from fires across Australia’s Northern Territory about one month after the arrival of spring. 

According to NASA, a warm and dry start to the season created an environment ripe for blazes in the fire-prone outback.

“About 15 fires raged in the territory on that date, with several burning near Alice Springs, a town of about 25,000 people,” said NASA.

“The largest plume of smoke in the image streamed from the Gillens Bore fire, located approximately 85 kilometers north of Alice Springs, along the Stuart Highway.” 

“As of October 12, the fire had burned almost 19,000 hectares (46,000 acres). Notice a burn scar on Northern Territory’s border with Western Australia. The scar is from the Tanami fire, located north of Lake MacKay.”

Bushfires are common in northern Australia during the dry season between March and December. Their severity depends on the amount of dry vegetation that is available as fuel. 

NASA reports that in the Northern Territory, September 2023 was the seventh driest September on a record that goes back to 1900. The region received only 0.4 millimeters of rain.

The photo was captured on October 10, 2023 by the VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

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