mercredi 10 mai 2017

Ireland's Gorse Wildfires Creating Havoc












NASA - EOS Terra Mission patch.

May 10, 2017


Hundreds of gorse fires have created havoc across the island of Ireland for the better part of a month.  Gorse is a wildflower that grows abundantly all over the country.  It is native to Ireland and is quite invasive.  The amount of gorse coupled with extremely dry conditions create perfect conditions for wildfires to start.  Since Monday 1st May 2017 – 8th May 2017 Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) has attended 511 gorse fires of which 466 were started deliberately.

Most of the 30 or so ongoing fires are around the outside portion of the island are in Roscommon and Sligo. The most significant fire is in Cloosh Valley, Galway, which has burned 3,500 hectares (8648 acres) of forest and bog land.  The 4,000 hectare (9884 acre) forest is one of the largest in Ireland.  Firefighters are battling to bring it under control after poor conditions allowed the fire to increase in intensity.

A serious dry spell that started at the beginning of April has created the conditions for wildfires to start and spread.  With average rainfall for this time of year cut by 75 per cent there is a serious drought hampering firefighting efforts and promoting the spread of fires.  There have been more than 100 serious gorse and forest fires in recent weeks.  Fire officials believe that most of the fires have been started deliberately either through the burning of vegetation (a method for clearing fields used by farmers) or with malicious intent.

EOS Terra satellite

This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite on May 08, 2017. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red.  NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption: NASA/Goddard, Lynn Jenner with information from Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue and the Irish Farmers Journal.

Related links:

Fire and Smoke: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/fires/main/

Terra Satellite: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/terra/index.html

Images, Text, Credits: NASA/Lynn Jenner.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

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