Fires in Alaska

Fires Across Alaska

16August 2005

On 15 August 2005, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aquasatellite captured this stunning image of forest fires raging across the width of Alaska. Smoke from scores of fires (marked in red) filled the state’s broad central valley and poured out to sea. Hemmed in by mountains to the north and the south, the smoke spreads westward and spills out over the Bering and Chukchi Seas. More than a hundred fires were burning across the state as of 15 August.

15 August 2005
22:30 hrs UTC
(Image courtesy MODIS)

True colour: Bands 1-4-3

False Colour: Bands 7-2-1

The links provide a 500m resolution for both scenes

Air quality warnings have been issued for about 90 percent of the Interior, according to the August 12 report from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Air Quality. Conditions have ranged from “very unhealthy” to “hazardous ” over the weekend in many locations, including Fairbanks. A large area of high atmospheric pressure spread over much of the state, keeping temperatures high and reducing winds that would clear the air. 

The infrared-enhanced image makes burned areas (deep reddish brown) stand out from healthy vegetation (bright green) and water (dark blue). Snow on the mountains is bright blue. Notice that the vegetation on the high elevations of both mountain ranges is so sparse that some areas appear similar to the burned areas. 

(Source: Earth Observatory)


Latest NOAA GOES-12 image:

This multispectral combined image was taken by the GOES-12 satellite on 14 August 2005 and shows various wildfires burning across Alaska.

(source: OSEI)


For background information on the Fire Situation in Alaska see:



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