This image of Alaska was captured by the MODIS on the Terra satellite on May 30, 2010. The stark white cloud cover is mixed in with more diffuse gray smoke from fires in the region. Each active fire is marked by a red dot.
According to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center in Fairbanks, an unusually dry winter and spring have already resulted in 293 wildfires burning some 463,000 acres this year. In fact, the fire activity in May was unprecedented and more typical of extreme July conditions. Most of the fires are caused by lightning.