On October 29, 2013 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite flew over New South Wales, Australia and captured this true-color image of multiple fires burning across the region. Many of the fires are clustered in Wollemi National Park to the northwest of Sydney. Sydney, which can be seen on the coast of the Tasman Sea and surrounding the near-triangular Botany Bay, is the state capital and the most populated city in Australia.
High temperatures, dry conditions and strong winds combined to set the stage for an exceptionally early start to the 2013-2014 bushfire season. The first fires were reported in New South Wales on September 9, and fires continued to burn into the first week of November. On November 7, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service reported 48 active fires and 2 controlled hazard reduction fires burning in the state.