Fire season in northern Australia usually wraps up by October, but 2011 has been an exceptional year. In mid-November, dry grasses and low humidity combined to create extremely dangerous fire conditions, prompting the Queensland Fire and Rescue service to issue a warning. Because of the ongoing high fire danger, residents are not permitted to start a fire without a permit until January 1, 2012. Despite such precautions, several large fires burned throughout the state, said ABC News on November 17. Some of the fires were ignited by lightning.
This true color image shows multiple fires, large and small, burning in northeast Queensland. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image on November 15, 2011. The fires are outlined in red.
Acquired October 17, 2009, this true-color image shows fires burning along the Queensland coast. Red outlines indicate actively burning fires. With a few exceptions, wind blows smoke from the fires toward the northwest.