Fires in USA

Fires in the USA

23 May 2007

Fires in Georgia and Florida

The Bugaboo Fire (called “Bugaboo Scrub” in Georgia and “Florida Bugaboo” in Florida) marched across the Okefenokee Swamp and adjacent land, including pine plantations and state parks, in Georgia and Florida in May 2007. As of20 May, the Southern Area Coordination Center estimated the size of the affected area as more than 287,000 acres (1,161 square kilometers). A lightning strike started the blaze on Bugaboo Scrub Island in the Okefenokee Swamp in southeastern Georgia on5 May, and the fire engulfed thousands of acres a day as it spread south into Florida.

16 May 2007

This pair of images from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite shows the fire on Sunday, 20 May, at 12:20 p.m. The top image is a photo-like view of thearea, while the bottom image has been enhanced with shortwave- and near-infrared light detected by MODIS to highlight the burnedarea, which appears brick red. Vegetation appears bright green, and water appears darkblue. Places where MODIS detected actively burning fires are outlined in red.

Fires are not uncommon in the peat-rich swamps of the southeastern United States. The Okefenokee Swamp harbors diverse vegetationcommunities, from marshes to tree-covered islands. During times of drought, the thick layers ofpeat—dead vegetation that doesn’t decay because it is submerged in water—dry out and become extremelyflammable, as do the marsh grasses and scrub vegetation. Southern pine trees add to theflammability. In May 2007, southeastern Georgia and northern Florida were experiencing extremedrought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which increased the risk that any fires that did start this season would become large andout-of-control.

The large image provided above has a spatial resolution (level of detail) of250 meters per pixel.

(source: EarthObservatory)

Latest GOES image

This GOES satellite image taken at 13:45 hrs UTC shows smoke from the Big Turnaround and Bugaboo firesthat continue to burn across South Georgia. The wildfire smoke plumes are blowing north up toacross South Carolina and back to west side past Atlanta. Additional smoke can be seen intothe Gulf of Mexico. Hotspots (detections) can be seen as red dots.

(source: OSEI)

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