Reports coming from Australia are more positive than negative now with regards to the Morwell fire, but officials say they still have a "long way to go." Considerable progress has been made in extinguishing the fire, but there is still significant heat that continues to generate smoke from the open mine. Fire activity has been cut in half since February 11, but there are still "weeks of firefighting ahead" according to Craig Lapsley, Fire Services Commissioner on the County Fire Authority website.
According to the Australian News, "The [Morwell] fire, which started on February 9, is burning on two worked-out faces of the mine, spread over 2.5km. A number of firefighters have been treated for higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide and the EPA is doubling its air monitoring in response to community concerns."
The Snowy River Complex fire has currently burned over 500 square miles to date. Many of the bushfires are now considered under control by local fire authorities, however, due to the hot, dry conditions that are not abating threaten more fire outbreak in the area. It has been a devastating fire season in Victoria this year.
This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite on February 23, 2014. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS's thermal bands, are outlined in red. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption: NASA/Goddard, Lynn Jenner.
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