Orbital View Of Prescribed Fires In Tasmania

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
April 22, 2018
Filed under , , ,
Orbital View Of Prescribed Fires In Tasmania
Fires In Tasmania

The Tasmania Fire Service webpage shows that all fires captured in this Aqua image from April 20, 2018 are, in fact, fires deliberately set for land management.
This is a very important part of making sure that vast swaths of land don’t burn during a lightning strike. In order to guard against this, firefighters take out areas of scrub, dead grasses, underbrush, and other flammable detritus so that if the area is hit by lightning or someone carelessly starts a fire, that fire does not get out of control quickly using that detritus as kindling for exacerbating the fire.

In fact prescribed fires are actually used for more than just fire management. These fires help in these ways:

After many years of fire exclusion, an ecosystem that needs periodic fire becomes unhealthy. Trees are stressed by overcrowding; fire-dependent species disappear; and flammable fuels build up and become hazardous. The right fire at the right place at the right time:

– Reduces hazardous fuels, protecting human communities from extreme fires;
– Minimizes the spread of pest insects and disease;
– Removes unwanted species that threaten species native to an ecosystem;
– Provides forage for game;
– Improves habitat for threatened and endangered species;
– Recycles nutrients back to the soil; and
– Promotes the growth of trees, wildflowers, and other plants;

This image was captured by NASA’s Aqua satellite using the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument onboard on April 20, 2018. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC

larger image

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.