Image: NASA sees controlled fires in Southern Australia

May 13, 2013
Credit: NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC.

Today's image of southern Australia showing New South Wales and Victoria shows a series of controlled fires.

Fires are often deliberately set by fire officials and controlled in order to clean out dry underbrush and accumulations of debris. The fire burns away the detritus which could otherwise be the ignition for a devastating bushfire that may easily get out of control.

In this image, it appears all of the fires have been planned and are under control.

This natural-color was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on May 11, 2013. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS's thermal bands, are outlined in red. For more information and to see a current map of planned fires in Australia visit: http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/fire-and-other-emergencies/planned-burning-an-introduction/burns-today-current-status

Explore further: NASA's HS3 mission covers transition of Hurricane Cristobal

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