Fires on Melville Island
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Fires on Melville Island

October 12, 2006

This MODIS Aqua image, captured October 4, 2006, shows a large fire buring on Melville Island. The places where the sensor detected actively burning fire are outlined in red. A large fire on the eastern end of Melville Island billowed a long plume of smoke northwestward over the Arafura Sea. To thet east is the Timor Sea.

Melville Island, the larger of the two islands you see here, is north of mainland Australia, off the coast of the Northern Territory. (Bathurst Island is the name of the more eastern island in the image.) It is the 2nd biggest island in Australia, after Tasmania (and the continent itself!). The first European to spot the island was Abel Tasman in 1644 - but it was named in 1881 by a British naval officer, after Robert Dundas, 2nd Vicount Melville, who is also commemorated by a larger Melville Island in the Canadian Arctic.

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