NASA image: Fires in Southeastern Australia

March 31, 2015, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
The fires superimposed on the satellite image of southeastern Australia designated by red spots may be indicative of "planned burns" by the Victoria region. Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team.

The fires superimposed on the satellite image of southeastern Australia designated by red spots may be indicative of "planned burns" by the Victoria region. This map: http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/fire-and-emergencies/planned-burns/planned-burns-now-and-next-10-days found on the Department of the Environment and Primary Industries for the State of Victoria shows the burns that are planned for the next ten days and many of them coincide with the red spots on this MODIS image taken by the Aqua satellite on March 30, 2015. What is the reason for fire management teams purposely setting a fire? The reasons can actually be many. A fire set at the right time can:

Reduce hazardous fuels, protecting human communities from extreme fires; Minimize the spread of pest insects and disease; Remove unwanted species that threaten species native to an ecosystem; Provide forage for game; Improve habitat for threatened and endangered species; Recycle nutrients back to the soil; Promote the growth of trees, wildflowers, and other plants; Destress overcrowded conditions; and Prevent fire-dependent species from disappearing.

Some of these red spots could still be bushfires that are burning without controls in place since this is still fire season in Australia. There is no definitive way to tell other than to match the fires against the prescribed fires map.

This natural-color was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on March 30, 2015. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS's thermal bands, are outlined in red.

Explore further: NASA image: Fires in the southern United States

Related Stories

NASA image: Fires in the southern United States

October 23, 2014

In this image taken by the Aqua satellite of the southern United States actively burning areas as detected by MODIS's thermal bands are outlined in red. Each red hot spot is an area where the thermal detectors on the MODIS ...

Image: Agricultural fires stretch completely across Africa

February 2, 2015

Four different passes by the Aqua satellite over the course of a day results in this stitched together image of the fires that span across central Africa. The polar orbit of the Aqua satellite takes swaths of images which ...

Prescribed burns in Western Australia

October 14, 2014

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite detected fires burning in Western Australia on October 14, 2014. Matching these hot spots up to the the prescribed fire burns on Western Australia's ...

Image: Agricultural fires in Indochina

February 2, 2015

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite collected this natural-color image which detected dozens of fires burning in Indochina on February 02, 2015.

Recommended for you

Top nitrogen researchers imagine world beyond fossil fuels

May 25, 2018

Freeways choked with traffic, supermarkets laden with fertilizer-grown stock from distance fields and virtually everything we touch derived from petroleum-based plastics. It's hard to imagine life beyond our fossil-fueled ...

Climate change may lead to bigger atmospheric rivers

May 25, 2018

A new NASA-led study shows that climate change is likely to intensify extreme weather events known as atmospheric rivers across most of the globe by the end of this century, while slightly reducing their number.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.