Fires have scorched half of Australia’s Fraser Island •

Fires have scorched half of Australia’s Fraser Island

Fires have scorched half of Australia’s Fraser Island. Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows Australia’s Fraser Island, where fires have burned more than 200,000 acres. 

On October 14, 2020. a campfire escalated into a bushfire near the north end of the island. Over the last two months, the fire has burned half of Fraser Island, which is a protected World Heritage Site.

Around 100 people live on the island, but  hundreds of thousands of tourists are drawn to its beaches, tropical rainforests, sand dunes, and inland lakes every year. Fires have scorched half of Australia’s Fraser Island

With 160 miles of beaches and more than 25 miles of sand cliffs, Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island.Indigenous Australians inhabited the continent for about 65,000 years prior to the first arrival of Dutch explorers in the early 17th century, who named it New Holland. In 1770, Australia’s eastern half was claimed by Great Britain and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia’s national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the time of an 1850s gold rush, most of the continent had been explored by European settlers and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.

Dry conditions, including a record-breaking heat wave in November, have helped to fuel the fire across dense bushland areas.

The natural-color image was captured on December 7 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. 

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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