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Large fire burns more than half of northern half of Australian island

by Bill Gabbert, Wildfire Today |

A large wildfire is burning on Fraser Island off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Since it started Oct. 14 it has grown to 46 miles in length, north to south, covering much of the 76-mile long island.

Officials from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services believe it started from an illegal cooking fire that was not completely extinguished.

Crews from the QFES are assisting Parks and Wildlife rangers working to contain the blaze with the use of back burns, assisted by Conair’s Q400 air tanker which has been dropping on the fire, reloading at Bundaberg.

No homes or private property were directly threatened as of Nov. 20.

Judging from the satellite data, the fire appeared to burn in a mosaic pattern, leaving unburned areas scattered throughout the fire’s footprint.

Fraser Island, a World Heritage-listed national park, is the world’s largest sand island,covering 410,000 acres, with rain forests, pristine freshwater lakes, seafront rock pools, colored sand cliffs, massive dunes and more than 75 miles of unspoiled beachfront facing the Pacific Ocean.