This is the sun setting through the plume of smoke from the forest fire currently burning in Tasman District, in New Zealand's South Island, just a few kms away from where I live. 2000 ha have burned and the numbers are climbing.
The image shows the bone dry state of land in our highly agricultural and horticultural region. While not on the scale of the recent wildfires in Australia, California, Portugal and elsewhere, this is the first major fire in our region since the 1980s. The last big one was in February 1981 at Hira, on the outskirts of Nelson city and it burned 1972 hectares); More recently there have been smaller ones in October 1997 at Harakeke, in the Moutere Hills (535 ha); in December 2004, in Irvines Forest (200 ha); and in November 2009, near Tadmor (600 ha).
Grant Pierce, a fire scientist with Scion Rural Fire Research Group, comments:
"Modelling of potential future changes in fire danger indicates that the number of severe fire weather days is likely to increase in many parts of the country. This includes the Nelson region, where the number of days of very high and extreme forest fire danger could increase to more like 12-13 days per year on average, and maybe 20-25 days in the worst years, with climate change. (Source: Scoop)
I'm delighted to share an article about my journey as a photographer published in Olympus Passion,.