On 2 January 2006, winds whipped a fast-moving fire across the grasslands just south of the Red River, which marks the border between Oklahoma and Texas. According to reports from the Associated Press, the fire nearly razed the small ranch town of Ringgold, Texas, destroying as many as 50 homes and most of the buildings along the small towns Main Street. The fire scorched tens of thousands of acres between Ringgold and the town of Nocona, to thesoutheast.
ASTER 8 January 2005 16:35 hrs UTC
The charcoal-colored burn scar slices through the center of this image, captured on8 January 2006, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer(ASTER) on NASAs Terrasatellite. To make the burn scar stand out more prominently, the image was enhanced with the sensors observations of near- and shortwave-infrared energy as well as visiblelight. Winter-bare ground is tan and brown, while patches of red indicate growingvegetation, probably irrigated crops. The small town of Nocona appears as a cement-gray splash at lower right of thescene, while the location of Ringgold is obscured by a cloud at image left.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor map for 3 January drought stretched across the south-central United States in the first ofJanuary, affecting Arizona, southern Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and western Arkansas. A pocket of ExceptionalDroughtthe highest drought category on the scalespanned northeastern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, and intruded a short distance into western Arkansas. The lack ofrain, high temperatures, and strong winds were a menace for firefighters across theregion, who continued to battle grassland and other wildfires through the first part of themonth.