Fires on Cape York Peninsula
Dozens of fires were scattered across central and southern Cape York Peninsula in Northeastern Australia on December 14, 2005.
When this image was acquired, the sensor detected actively burning areas (marked in red) across a broad region. Winds were pushing smoke plumes toward the west at the time of the image.
Natural resource managers in northern Australia use fire to help maintain native grassland and control exotic species. Many of the fires in this image may be land-management fires set by public or private land managers; this hot and dry region is prone to frequent fires.
Cape York is tropical savanna, or grassland with sparse trees and shrubs. Most of the world's savannas are near the equator, sandwiched in between tropical rainforests and deserts.
The Serengeti of Africa is probably the best-known example of a savanna, but it also exists in South America, large portions of Africa outside (to the North and South) of the Serengeti, Asia (mostly confined to India) and Northern Australia.
Australia's savanna is home to many of its more-famous wildlife species, including kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, and saltwater crocodiles. Many of these species are under pressure because of the harmful impacts of introduced species, such as cane toads, pigs, cats, and even horses.