FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Australian Fires From Above?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook more than 2,800 times purportedly shows the Australian wildfires from above.

“Not a sunrise or sunset photo,” reads the caption. “Australian fires as seen from above.”

Verdict: False

The photo, per its caption, actually shows an Australia sunset. It has been available online since at least July 2016.

Fact Check:

Wildfires have raged across Australia since September, killing at least 28 people and burning more than 17.9 million acres. Natural causes, like lightning strikes, have started many of the fires, while humans have accidentally or intentionally started others, according to Newsweek.

A viral post alleges that the image shows the Australian wildfires through the clouds. It has been shared more than 2,800 times. (RELATED: Did Climate Change Cause The California Wildfires?)

Contrary to the post’s claim, the image doesn’t actually capture one of the more than 100 Australian fires currently burning. The photo, found on the Best Photos Web webpage, depicts a sunset somewhere over Australia, according to its caption. It was posted on that website July 26, 2016, roughly three years before the start of Australia’s current bushfire season.

“36,000 feet, SUNSET! Somewhere over Australia,” reads the caption.

This isn’t the first time social media users have used miscaptioned photos to raise awareness for the Australian wildfires. Earlier this month, the Daily Caller debunked a photo of a koala that had allegedly been rescued from the fires by a golden retriever.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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