Regrowth in Australia after Massive Bushfires

A series of bushfires ignited in the Australian state of Victoria in early February 2009. The fires occurred during a record-breaking heat wave and extremely dry conditions and resulted in Australia.s highest loss of life from bushfires ever recorded. Many injuries were also reported. As many as 400 individual fires were recorded on February 7, 2009, alone. Since the fires, that day has widely been referred to as Black Saturday.

Landsat 5 images acquired during the fires in 2009, and again in 2011, show the drastic burn scars and re-growth of the areas. The city of Melbourne can be seen in the lower left portion of each image.

These Landsat satellite data clearly illustrate the fire scars and smoke from burning fires in the 2009 image, along with the area.s re-growth by December 2009, and more re-growth by January 2011.

Landsat satellite data are used by regional agencies for monitoring the land cover conditions before, during, and after fires. The effects of the bared land on potential erosion and rate of re-growth are topics of special interest to responsible agencies.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011