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 parks and wildlife site: http://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/management/fire/prescribed-burning/burns these fires are most likely prescribed burns used to limit bushfire outbreaks. According to the Government of Australia's Department of Parks and Wildlife, "Prescribed burning is the process of planning and applying fire to a predetermined area, under specific environmental conditions, to achieve a desired outcome." IT goes on to say these fires are set for the following reasons:
to maintain biodiversity,
to mitigate the severity of bushfires and to help protect lives and property by reducing the build-up of flammable fuel loads, and
to rehabilitate vegetation after disturbance, such as timber harvesting and mining
to undertake research on fire and its interaction with our environment.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Lynn Jenner
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.