Above: Wind in Western Australia produces an interesting trajectory of smoke from a bushfire near Madura. NASA image, December 7, 2016 U.S. time.
A large bushfire in Western Australia forced authorities to close a major highway resulting in hundreds of long-haul truckers and tourists being stuck on the road for hours. Some of them were stranded between roadblocks that were 170 kilometers (105 miles) apart.
Wednesday morning the Eyre Highway across the Nullarbor was closed between Caiguna Roadhouse and Madura. By evening it was open again.
There were two large fires south of the highway that were being pushed by the wind toward the road.
The fire started from lightning four days ago 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Cocklebiddy.
Below is a time-lapse video of satellite photos of smoke from fires in the area.
This time-lapse video of the pyrocumulus cloud over the Sedgerly Fire in Queensland, Australia is fascinating. According to the description by the Bushfire Convective Plume Experiment it shows a thunderstorm initiated by the fire. If you look closely you will see rain and lightning.
A huge bushfire in the Kimberley region of Western Australia has burned approximately 2.4 million acres (1 million hectares). Since it started from lightning two weeks ago it has been spreading across cattle stations on both sides of Gibb River Road and recently began approaching Aboriginal communities. Not all fires in sparsely populated areas of Western Australia are aggressively suppressed but firefighters have been working around the clock this week to put in a fireline on the north side near Gibb River Road station.
Below is an excerpt from an article at ABC.NET in Australia:
Indigenous ranger groups from across the region have converged on the area to help, some travelling hundreds of kilometres. There is concern about the impact the bushfire will have on the landscape, which covers both prime grazing country and biodiversity hotspots.
The fire is now heading towards properties managed by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. The group’s national operations manager Tim Allard said it would have a harsh impact on native species.
“It’s a significant fire and a significant chunk of land has been burnt in one event,” he said.
“It’s decimated the habitat for so many animals … [and] the other issue is it destroys all of the refuge for native animals to hide from feral cats.”