June 8, 2011 - Wallow North and Horseshoe2 fires, Arizona

Wallow North and Horseshoe2 fires, Arizona

By June 6, 2011, the Wallow Fire burning in the mountains of eastern Arizona had become the third largest wildfire on record in that state. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite captured this true-color image at 20:40 UTC (1:40 p.m. local time) on the same day.

The Wallow Fire is marked by a bright ring of large red hotspots and is accompanied by a large plume of ash-gray smoke that blows to the northeast across Arizona, New Mexico and into Utah. The dense plume of smoke affected air quality as far north as Wyoming and as far east as Georgia.

According to New Mexico Fire Information (NMFI), on the afternoon of June 7 the Wallow Fire had consumed 311,481 acres and remained 0% contained, despite the deployment of approximately 2,140 firefighters, 8 dozers, 141 engines, 26 watertenders and 20 helicopters. Hot, dry conditions along with high winds helped the fire grow quickly after it ignited on May 29. The fire was caused by human activity.

Further south, the Horseshoe 2 Fire, is also marked by red. Although it appears dwarfed by the expansive Wallow Fire, Horseshoe 2 is the fifth largest fire on record in the state. It began on May 8 near Portal, Arizona and had burned over 100,000 acres. On June 7, it was estimated that it was 55% contained. The cause of this fire was also human activity.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 6/6/2011
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC