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Fires in Southwestern Australia

Fires in Southwestern Australia

Fires were burning in southern Western Australia on May 1, 2006, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed overhead. This region is part of Australia’s “wheat belt,” and most of these fires (marked in red) are probably related to agriculture, for example, burning off crop stubble. Although they are not necessarily immediately hazardous, widespread agricultural fires can have a strong impact on climate, human health, and natural resources. Scattered areas of deep green vegetation are probably remnants of the area’s natural vegetation, and to the east of Perth, two fires that are larger and smokier than other fires in the scene may be forest fires, rather than agriculture-related fires.

The high-resolution image provided above has a spatial resolution of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at additional resolutions.

NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center