Fires And Smoke In Southwestern Australia • Earth.com

Last update: October 21st, 2019 at 9:00 am

Multiple fires were scattered across southwestern Australia in late September 2015. The largest fire was burning in the No. 64 State Forest and it was accompanied by copious amounts of smoke. Other bushfires show up in this satellite image, but none were putting out as much thick smoke as the one in No. 64 State Forest. The Sentinel Hotspots map on the Australian Government’s Geoscience website show that this fire started (or was detected) sometime on September 21 or early September 22. There does not seem to be any news on this fire other than its detection by the Aqua satellite.

The Government of Western Australia Parks and Management website reminds readers that prescribed burning is currently underway, which means that fires are deliberately set and controlled for the benefit of land management. The website also states that “Parks and Wildlife’s prescribed burning program protects lives, property and infrastructure from bushfires through a carefully planned regime of controlled burns. The benefits of prescribed burning include lower fuel loads across larger areas of the State’s southwest helping the department to reduce the severity and size of bushfires. It is difficult to provide accurate notice of where and when prescribed burns will take place since the decision to commence a planned burn involves consideration of many factors. The decision to carry out a prescribed burn is made on the day and is dependent on suitable weather conditions and fuel moisture”.

The website also lists current prescribed burns. Many of those are in locations very similar to what is seen on this MODIS image. Several prescribed burns have been utilized in areas near No. 64 State Forest, although there is no burn described specific to that forest, so the source of ignition remains unknown.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this striking true-color image of the fires on September 22.

NASA

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