Satellite photos have captured the enormous scale of the devastating bushfires on Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia.
The images, provided by NASA Earth Observatory, show huge plumes of smoke rising from intense fires – particularly along the island’s south-west coast.
An enormous patch of charred land can also be seen on the western side of the island.
The fires on Kangaroo Island have scorched about 171,000 hectares of land and there are two bushfire warnings that remain in place on the island as of Friday.
Tragically, two lives were also lost in the blazes.
Satellite photos have captured the enormous scale of the devastating bushfires on Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia
The images, provided by NASA Earth Observatory, show huge plumes of smoke rising from intense fires – particularly along the island’s south-west coast
Huge areas of Kangaroo Island were destroyed after bushfire tore through 170,000 hectares of land with fire crews still working to contain two fires
A fire crew operates at an area around Parndana after bushfires swept through on Kangaroo Island, southwest of Adelaide, South Australia on January 10
A total of 22 firefighters have been injured while fighting fires on the island.
Previous NASA satellite images have shown the impact of the fires on the landscape.
The first image was taken on December 16, showing the lush green landscape of the South Australian island before the wild fires began on December 20.
The second image was taken on Tuesday, showing a third of the island scorched with some areas still on fire, including an out of control blaze in Flinders Chase National Park.
The bushfires sweeping through Stokes Bay on Kangaroo Island, southwest of Adelaide, on Thursday
The Army is working hard in Kangaroo Island to help farmers, clear roads, and recover injured wildlife (pictured a soldier nurses a kangaroo)
Vision from inside a truck watching a wild fire flare up on Kangaroo Island
Yet another satellite image, released on Friday, shows a huge cloud of smoke making its way across the Pacific Ocean towards South America.
Smoke from Australia’s fires has already made its way as far as South America and Antarctica.
Air quality in Adelaide was ranked among the worst in the world on Friday as smoke from Kangaroo Island drifted over the city.
The Air Quality Index of the city was at 168 at 6.30am which is in the ‘unhealthy’ range and placed the city as having the 11th most polluted air in the world.
Between 2mm – 5mm of rain fell on the Kangaroo Island overnight significantly helping fire crews.
Vets and volunteers treat Koalas at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, on Kangaroo Island, southwest of Adelaide, South Australia on Friday
Fire fighters are seen at Kingscote oval after fighting fires through the night, on Kangaroo Island. CFS volunteers along with over 100 Army Reservists and self-sustainment supplies, are on Kangaroo Island as part of Operation Bushfire Assist
A NASA satellite image showing the lush green landscape of Kangaroo Island on December 16 compared with an image captured on Tuesday
The Bureau of Meteorology also forecasts another 2mm of rain for Friday night along with humid conditions and a southerly change which should further assist firefighters.
The South Australian state government is calling for federal assistance to provide more waterbombing aircraft to help firefighters battling the blazes on the ground.
Emergency Services Minister Corey Wingard said aerial waterbombing was key to fighting fires of the scale.
In New Zealand, hikers captured photos on the Franz Josef glacier where snow had turned light brown as a result of thick smoke travelling over the Tasman Sea
Smoke travelled more than 11,000 kilometres away to Chile (pictured)
A NASA satellite image shows a cloud of smoke from Australia’s bushfires making its way across the Pacific Ocean
A rare Pygmy Possum is rescued at the Flinders Chase National Park after bushfires swept through on Kangaroo Island
‘We know aerial coverage to dump big payloads of retardant or water combined with our outstanding troops on the ground are key to fighting big fires like we’ve seen on Kangaroo Island and in the Adelaide Hills,’ Mr Wingard said.
Country Fire Service chief Mark Jones said 280 personnel are currently fighting fires on the island though difficult weather conditions hampered efforts on Thursday night.
‘We’ve heard that last night was an incredibly difficult night with which to firefight on Kangaroo Island – winds were not consistent, they were blustery and came from many directions…creating difficult conditions,’ he told the Adelaide Advertiser.
AUSTRALIA’S BUSHFIRE CRISIS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Evacuations are underway and emergency alerts are in place in NSW, Victoria and South Australia as authorities predict the devastating bushfires will continue burning until at least March.
At least 26 people have been killed in blazes across the country since the bushfire season began in October.
NEW SOUTH WALES/ACT
- At least 130 bushfires were burning in NSW on Friday morning
- 20 people dead
- More than 5.2 million hectares burned – equal to the metro areas of the five mainland state capitals
- 1870 homes confirmed destroyed, more than 3774 outbuildings and 200 facilities razed
- Three people dead
- 12 bushfires burning in the Gippsland, northeast and alpine regions
- More than 1.2 million hectares burnt
- 330 structures confirmed destroyed but significantly more expected
- Three people, including two from Kangaroo Island, are dead
- Six fires burning on Kangaroo Island
- More than 274,000 hectares burnt
- 161 homes confirmed destroyed, along with 413 sheds and outhouses
- About 600 properties on Kangaroo Island remain without power with SA Power Networks warning it may be some time before crews can access the fire ground to assess damage
- 33 bushfires burning
- 2.5 million hectares burnt
- 48 homes confirmed destroyed
- More than 35 bushfires burning, two of significance
- 1.5 million hectares burned
- One home confirmed destroyed
- 23 bushfires burning, two of significance
- 30,000 hectares burned
- Two homes confirmed destroyed
- Five bushfires burning
- Five homes confirmed destroyed
Smoke rises from burning hay bales on Kangaroo Island, southwest of Adelaide
Firefighters get breakfast at Kingscote Oval on Kangaroo Island on January 10 after fighting fires through the night