Bushfire in Western Australia burns millions of acres

Kimberly region bushfire map


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.

Kimberly region bushfire map
The Kimberley region of the north part of Western Australia. The red dots represent heat detected by a satellite October 10, 2016. The black areas near the dots are most likely recently burned. Note the graphic scale at bottom-right.  MODIS/Wildfire Today.

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.”

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.