Cape York Peninsula Fires
The wildfires that have been plaguing the Cape York Peninsula in Australia are not uncommon at this time of year. It is nearing the end of the dry season there, but that is precisely when conditions are most ripe for fire. As the dry season comes to a close the vegetation becomes little more than standing tinder – even a spark can ignite devastating fires.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on November 24, 2012 as it passed over the region.
Dozens of fires can be seen burning across the Cape York Peninsula, many accompanied by large plumes of smoke which is blown to the west. Strong winds help fuel wildfires, and can rapidly drive flames into areas full of fresh fuel.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Lynn Jenner