Fact Check

Does This Photograph Show Clouds Over Australian Bushfires?

A spectacular image of red-tinted clouds at sunset was repurposed to connect it with 2020 bushfires in Australia.

Published Jan. 6, 2020

A photograph in early 2020 shows red-tinted clouds over bushfires burning in Australia.

In January 2020, a photograph circulated via social media that purported to show an aerial view of red-tinted clouds taken over Australia, where a series of massive bushfires was raging across the continent:

This was a variation of a familiar photograph meme, which we identified as "Miscaptioned" in August 2018. Back then, the picture was said to show the skies over California, where a huge wildfire was then burning in that state.

What we found was that the picture was snapped by a meteorologist and actually captured a sunset somewhere over Hawaiian waters, and that the red tinting was a natural atmospheric phenomenon that had nothing to do with fires of any sort:

We rate the newer variation of this meme likewise "Miscaptioned" because the photograph in question is unrelated to either Australia or bushfires, as claimed on social media.

Have you seen other variations of this claim? Let us know.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.