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Fires in South Wales Australia
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Fires in South Wales, Australia

May 2, 2013
On December 5, 2006, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured these images of fires in New South Wales’ Pilliga natural areas. Places where MODIS detected active fires are outlined in red. In a photo-like, “natural-color” image, smoke from the large fires blocks the view of the landscape beneath. A “false-color” image, enhanced with shortwave- and near-infrared light that MODIS detected, penetrates the smoke and makes the burned area obvious. The deep red of the scorched area contrasts sharply with the unburned vegetation, which is bright green. The land surrounding the natural areas—a mixture of nature reserves and state forests—is agricultural land. The high-resolution image provided above has a spatial resolution of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides twice-daily images of the area in both natural and false color at additional resolutions. Credit: NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center