Fires in Canada

Fires in Canada
28 July 2004

A large fire in western British Columbia was spilling smoke down over the glacier-covered slopes of the Coast Range Mountains on July 28, 2004. In the deeply carved valleys between the white-capped peaks, turquoise rivers thick with finely ground glacial sediment flow out to the Pacific Ocean through the narrow gap between Vancouver Island (bottom left) and mainland Canada. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image, and the places where the sensor detected actively burning fires are outlined in red (Source: Earth Observatory)..

Image courtesy MODISRapid Response Team, NASA-GSFC


Caught up in high-level winds, smoke from fires in Alaska andnorthern Canada has spread as far south as the Gulf of Mexico in late July 2004(see second image). In the first image, the gray-colored plume of smoke flowssouth and east across central Canada and reaches down toward the Great Lakes(bottom right corner of image). Hudson Bay is at top right, and Lake Winnipeg(right) and Lake Manitoba (left) are roughly in the center. The ModerateResolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)on NASA’s Aqua satellitecaptured this image on July 26, 2004 (Source: EarthObservatory).

Image based on data from the MODISRapid Response Team, NASA-GSFC


This second image of the southern United States from NASA’sModerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)on NASA’s Terra satelliteis a picture-perfect example of what meteorologists mean when they describe theatmosphere as a fluid. In the center of the image, an airborne river of smokefrom fires raging across Alaska is flowing down the Mississippi River corridorand spreading out across the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico, at the bottom ofthe scene. Thick smoke hangs over Louisiana (bottom center) as well as Texas, tothe west, and Arkansas to the north. MODIS captured the image on July 19, 2004(Source: EarthObservatory).

(NASA image courtesy, MODISRapid Response Team at GSFC)


The NASAGoddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) provides a daily update of the TotalOzone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) products. Earth Probe TOMS depictsaerosols emitted from vegetation fires, desert dust storms and other sources.The Today’s AerosolConditions from Earth Probe provides daily updated global TOMSAerosol Index maps.


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