Fires Along Australia East Coast. On Australia’s eastern coast, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) detected a number of active fires, including a few large fires with visible smoke plumes in the Great Dividing Range. The scene stretches from just north of Hervey Bay in southern Queensland to the Liverpool Range (a smaller range within the Great Dividing Range) in northern New South Wales. On the eastern shores of Moreton Bay (upper right center), the city of Brisbane shows as a pale gray spot against the deep green mountains.
As the Southern Hemisphere begins the spring thaw and growing season, wildfires like those shown here will become more an more common. The wildfire season in southeastern Australia has already started, with over 30,000 hectares (about acres) of land affected. This true-color Aqua MODIS image was acquired on September 22, 2003.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world’s sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia’s capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country’s other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.