Each map gives an average of which types of bushfire were recorded across the east coast

How Australia's bushfires spread: mapping the east coast fires

Australia’s eastern states experienced widespread fires this year, as windy conditions increased the risk of bushfires at the beginning of 2019.

At least 77 fires were started by lightning strikes in the three eastern states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria over the Christmas and New Year period.

On the east coast, average distances for a fire – which can be kilometres long – ranged from more than 7km to as short as 4km, according to a count by the government’s wildfire modelling team, which maps where there are the highest fires on an average day for each state and territory.

Bushfires across Australia: maps of the largest blazes of this year Read more

The winds speed also ranged, with many having winds at a speed below 50km/h, below the international standard of 59km/h.

To get a map showing the average distance to each of the blazes – the width represented by a bar in the map, where the bar is visible – you need to use the location of each fire as the dot, and then get the distance of the fire from the nearest dot.

Here is what the maps look like for Tuesday, 24 January:

Horn Island, New South Wales (detail) Photograph: Fires information map Photograph: Australia Fire and Emergency Services

Horn Island, New South Wales (plot) Photograph: Fires information map Photograph: Australia Fire and Emergency Services

Papamoa Falls bushfire, New South Wales (plot) Photograph: Fires information map Photograph: Australia Fire and Emergency Services

Wattle Range bushfire, Queensland (plot) Photograph: Fires information map Photograph: Australia Fire and Emergency Services

And here is the latest map from 9 January:

Bushfire map; by Nick Evershed