Fires in USA

Fires in the USA

13 May 2009

Jesusita Fire, California

By the morning of 8 May 2009, the Jesusita Fire in the hills around Santa Barbara, California, had damaged or completely destroyed 75 buildings, forced the evacuation of 20,000 residents, and threatened the homes of another 16,000 residents, according to ABC News. By the afternoon of 9 May 2009, more than 30,000 residents were under evacuation orders, the Los Angeles Times reported.

8 May 2009

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of the Jesusita fire at 11:55 a.m. local time (18:55 UTC) on May 8, 2009. The red outlines show locations where MODIS detected fire. Plumes of smoke blow southward over the ocean, and the plume from the western portion of the fire is larger and thicker.

Strong, relentless winds doubled the fire’s size to 3,500 acres (14 square kilometers) on the might of May 7-8, 2009, and firefighters stated that quick wind shifts sent the fire in all directions, according to ABC News. Along its western margin, the fire jumped Highway 154 near San Antonio Creek Road, but although the expanded blaze threatened hundreds of homes, firefighters managed to limit the damage. One building lost, according to the Los Angeles Times, however, was a century-old building at the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens. The Times also reported that three Ventura County firefighters had been injured in the fire and were receiving treatment at a local burn center.

The large image provided above is at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel.

(source: earth observatory)

Jesusita Fire Burn Scar

On Sunday, 10 May 2009, California firefighters got a break from the weather when a marine inversion layer calmed activity at the Jesusita Fire, north of Santa Barbara. The fast-moving blaze had destroyed at least 137 structures as of 11 May, according to the daily situation report from the National Interagency Fire Center. The fire had affected an estimated 8,733 acres, but it had not grown in the previous 24 hours. Firefighters estimated the blaze was about 65 percent contained.

10 May 2009

This natural-color image from the Advanced Land Imager on the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite on 10 May shows the northern part of the burned area, which stretches from the outskirts of Santa Barbara (hidden beneath clouds) into Los Padres National Forest. The image is roughly centered on Mission Canyon; investigators think the fire was started from power tools being used along the Jesusita Trail, between Mission Canyon and Roque Canyon, to the west. The burn scar appears grayish purple, and it stretches northward to the Camino Cielo highway that runs west to east across the top of the scene. Many valleys throughout the burned area appear to have been spared; green vegetation lines them like the veins in a leaf.

The large image provided above is at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel.

(source: earth observatory)


The current situation in the USA is covered by a number of detailed reports (see GFMC Media web page):



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