Hundreds of firefighters across New South Wales and Queensland, Australia are battling more than 140 bushfires that have broken out near the eastern coast. Officials in Queensland say the intense flames mark the worst start to the fire season on record for the state.
At least eight of the fires appear suspicious and their causes are being investigated, said Queensland Police Commissioner, Katrina Carroll. Additionally, the hot, dry conditions as well as strong winds are fanning the flames and burning thousands of acres of land. Conditions like these are unusual this early in the season and are likely the result of the region’s record winter warmth and below-average rainfall.
Fires are generally less common in Queensland, but in the drier southern states of New South Wales and Victoria, the season runs from October to April.
This image, captured by the NOAA-20 satellite on Sept. 9, 2019 shows smoke plumes in the Yuraygir National Park and Shark Creek as well as over the cities of Lismore and Grafton. Thus far, more than 400 people have been evacuated from their homes. Although the fires are now mostly under control, some homes and buildings have been damaged.
This true-color image was captured by the VIIRS sensor onboard NOAA-20, which provides daily, high-resolution visible and infrared images of Earth's atmosphere from across the globe.