NASA Sees Several Fires in Tasmania
NASA's Terra satellite passed over the island state of Tasmania, Australia on Jan. 6, 2013 and noticed several areas of burning fires and smoke plumes. Tasmania is experiencing a blistering heat wave and dry conditions provided fuel for several fires across the island.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies onboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of smoke and fires burning on Jan. 6, 2013 at 2355 UTC (6:55 p.m. EST/U.S.) or 10:55 a.m. Jan. 8, local time/Tasmania. The multiple red pixels are heat signatures (red) detected by MODIS. The smoke appears to be a light brown color.
One plume of smoke appears to be coming from the Great Western Tiers Conservation Area, which lies north of Lake Sorell and Lake Crescent. Southwest of that location is another satellite-spied plume of smoke and red hot spots as identified by the MODIS instrument, at Lake Repulse. Australian Broadcasting Corporation news reported on Jan. 7 that two bushfires at Lake Repulse in the Upper Derwent Valley and Forcett on the Tasman Peninsula are causing concern.
Another smoke plume appears in the northwestern corner of Tasmania near Wynyard and Burnie along the northern coast. Several fires are occurring in Southwest National Park, in the extreme southwest. On the eastern side of the island, several fires were also detected by the MODIS instrument near Bincheno. According to ABC news on Jan. 7 the fire at Bicheno on the east coast was downgraded to advice level. The Half Moon Bay area was ravaged by bushfires.
On Jan. 4, Hobart, Tasmania hit a high temperature of 107 F (41.8 C). Fires are also burning in New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria.
Image: NASA Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Text: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Rob Gutro