Fires in the Western United States

Derby Fire, Montana

7September 2006

In early September 2006, firefighters in the western United States had their hands full. This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite shows large wildfires (red dots) burning in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, and Nevada on 5 September. Some clouds are scattered across the area, some of them likely building into afternoon thunderstorms, which may help or hinder firefighters, depending on how much rain, wind, or lightning the storms produce.

5 September 2006

Several of the largest fires are labeled in the image, and three are shown in the close-up images below the wide-area image at top. The National Interagency Fire Center report from 6 September stated that the 12,957-ha Bar Complex Fire in California was threatening structures and a watershed; the 27,300-ha Amazon Fire and the 40,500-ha Sheep Fire were threatening structures, livestock, fisheries, power lines, mines, and grazing lands; and the 37,300-ha Columbia Complex Fire was threatening residences, a ski area, a wind energy site, and commercial resources.

The high-resolution image provided above has a spatial resolution of 250 meters per pixel.

(source: EarthObservatory).


For more information see:

  • National Interagency Fire Center



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