June 12, 2011 - Fires in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan

Fires in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan

Smoke hangs over a large wildfire burning in the northeast corner of Alberta, Canada in this natural color image taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on June 8, 2011. Red outlines actively burning areas.

The fire has been burning for three weeks and has consumed a staggering 416,000 hectares (1,028,000 acres or 1,600 square miles), reported CBC News on June 9, making it the largest fire to start in Alberta since 1919.

The fire ignited in mid-May, at the same time that multiple fires started in Alberta under high winds and low humidity, including the Slave Lake fire, which destroyed 30 percent of that town on May 15.

Additional fires burn in Saskatchewan, including several north of Lake Athabasca and a cluster further south. According to the Ministry of the Environment, there have been 174 forest fires in that province so far this year.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 6/8/2011
Resolutions: 1km (129.2 KB), 500m (447.1 KB), 250m (1.1 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC