New South Wales Bushfires 2000

Geoscience Australia acquired Landsat 7 satellite images showing bushfires in northern New South Wales in early October 2000. Firefighters brought more than 80 bushfires under control, after more than 150 000ha of bushland were burnt.

The image left shows the extent of the fires in the region from South West Rocks in the south to Grafton and the Clarence River in the north. Compare it with the image right which was acquired on 2 June 2000. Click on the images to see more detail.

The band combination of these images is ETM+ bands 1, 4 and 7 displayed in blue, green and red colours. Band 1 highlights the smoke plume seen in light blue colour.

The ETM+ sensor on board the Landsat 7 satellite can detect ambient heat radiation in thermal infrared channel (band 6). However, if the temperatures are hot enough, as in the case of a forest fire, hot objects can be detected using ETM+ bands 5 and 7. These 'hot spots' show up as red areas on band 7 image. Hot spots could be seen near Armidale.

The bright green areas indicate healthy grasses and agricultural cultivation. The dark blue colour on the right of the image is ocean. Cloud is visible in the bottom right corner.

Landsat 7 satellite image, early October 2000 Extent of fires from South West Rocks to Grafton and the Clarence River

Landsat 7 satellite image, early October 2000
Extent of fires from South West Rocks to Grafton and the Clarence River
© Geoscience Australia

Landsat 7 satellite image, 2 June 2000 South West Rocks to Grafton and the Clarence River

Landsat 7 satellite image, 2 June 2000
South West Rocks to Grafton and the Clarence River
© Geoscience Australia

Topic contact: earth.observation@ga.gov.au Last updated: July 17, 2012