In the resort town Mallacoota, Australia, wildfires surrounded the southeastern seaside town. Over 4,000 people were forced to seek refuge on the beach and even boats in the water yesterday as deadly blazes closed in. The scene was described by residents as apocalyptic, with the sky turning a dark orange. On the major fire updates page of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service page (this is discounting more fires that have plagued the states of Victoria and Queensland) there are nearly 1.5 million hectares that are currently on fire. That is 3.67 million acres that continuing to burn just in New South Wales alone. According to the Bushfires and Natural Hazards CRC website: "The 2019/20 fire season is well underway with multiple large bushfires occurring since the release of the previous Outlook in August. Queensland and New South Wales in particular have experienced severe fires, but all states have had challenging fire conditions. Catastrophic fire danger ratings have been issued in NSW, Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria, and there has been loss of human lives and animals, and damage to property and the environment." The 2019/2020 outlook for the fire season was showing: "above normal bushfire potential for large fires to take hold based on recent and predicted weather, the dryness of the land and forests, recent fire history and local firefighting resources." This prediction has come to pass and exceed the outlook for the year. And no end is currently in sight.
The map below taken from the New South Wales Rural Fire Service website shows the areas currently on fire. There is almost no area which has not been affected to date.
Fires in New South Wales
For more information about the map
and the individual fires go to:
Courtesy of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service webpage
NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) Worldview application provides the capability to interactively browse over 700 global, full-resolution satellite imagery layers and then download the underlying data. Many of the available imagery layers are updated within three hours of observation, essentially showing the entire Earth as it looks "right now.” This satellite image was collected by NOAA-NASA's Suomi NPP satellite using the VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument on Jan. 01, 2020. Actively burning fires, detected by thermal bands, are shown as red points. Image Courtesy: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS). Caption: Lynn Jenner with information from New South Wales Rural Fire website and the Bushfires and Natural Hazards CRC website
Last Updated: Jan. 2, 2020
Editor: Lynn Jenner