August 31, 2012 - Fires and smoke in western United States

Fires and smoke in western United States

As hot, dry weather continues in the western United States, wildfires continue to consume grassland and forests throughout the regions. On August 25, 2012, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of fires and smoke across the northwestern US.

Nine states are shown, with black borderlines overlaid on the satellite image to delineate state lines. Moving from the top of the image, from left (west) to right (east), the states are Washington, Idaho and Montana, Oregon and Wyoming, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. Significant fire activity can be seen in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and California. One red hotspot accompanied by smoke also marks a fire burning in western Montana. Washington, Nevada and Utah are relatively fire-free, although some smoke covers the entire region.

With dry weather, high winds and low humidity predicted to continue across the region, conditions remain favorable for fire spread and new ignitions. In addition, many of these fires are burning in remote areas with rugged terrain, making access for fire-fighting equipment quite difficult. Projected containment dates for many of these fires are well into September, and some as late as mid-October.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 8/25/2012
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC