Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA satellites see wildfires across Colorado

Date:
June 26, 2012
Source:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Summary:
NASA's Aqua satellite captured a natural-color image of Colorado wildfires raging on June 23, 2012.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on June 23, 2012. Red outlines approximate the locations of actively burning fires. The High Park and Weber Fires produced the largest plumes of smoke.
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen using data obtained from the Land Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE).

Nearly half of the United States' airborne fire suppression equipment was operating over Colorado on June 25, 2012, CNN reported, as tens of thousands of acres burned. Fires raged in southwestern Colorado, northeastern Colorado, and multiple locations in between.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on June 23, 2012. Red outlines approximate the locations of actively burning fires. The High Park and Weber Fires produced the largest plumes of smoke.

The High Park Fire continued to burn west of Fort Collins. Started by lightning on June 9, 2012, this blaze had consumed 83,205 acres (33,672 hectares), making it the second-largest fire in Colorado history, after the Hayman Fire that burned in 2002. As of June 25, more than 2,000 people were fighting the High Park Fire, and firefighters had it 45 percent contained, according to InciWeb. Nevertheless, The Denver Post reported that the fire had destroyed 248 homes, making it the most destructive in Colorado history, even if it was not the largest.

In the opposite corner of the state, the Weber Fire started around 4:15 p.m. on June 22. As of June 25, the fire had burned approximately 8,300 acres (3,400 hectares) and was being fought by 164 personnel. The cause was under investigation. The fire had high growth potential because of possible wind gusts from thunderstorms, InciWeb reported. On the other side of Durango, the Little Sand Fire had been burning for weeks after being started by a lightning strike on May 13. As of June 25, that fire had burned 21,616 acres (8,748 hectares), was being fought by nearly 200 people, and was 31 percent contained.

West of Colorado Springs, the Waldo Canyon Fire forced 11,000 people from their homes, many of them compelled to evacuate in the middle of the night on June 23󈞄. The fire started around noon on June 23, and by June 25 it had grown to 3,446 acres (1,395 hectares). InciWeb stated that 450 firefighters were battling the blaze, which retained the potential for rapid growth.

The Woodland Heights Fire just west of Estes Park was small but very destructive, consuming 27 acres (11 hectares) and destroying 22 homes, Denver's Channel 7 News reported. That fire was completely contained by the evening of June 24.

As fires burned, Colorado also coped with extreme heat. The Denver Post reported that Denver endured triple-digit temperatures June 22 through 24, and the National Weather Service forecast temperatures of at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) for June 25 and 26, with temperatures in the upper 90s through June 29.

Colorado's fires have followed a dry spring. Although the state experienced unusually heavy snow in February, little snow followed in March and April, part of a larger pattern of low snowfall. By June 19, 2012, conditions throughout the state ranged from unusually dry to extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

On June 25, 2012, Tim Mathewson, a fire meteorologist with the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center, remarked: "Current conditions are comparable to 2002 fire season, which was the worst in Colorado history. Fires haven't burned as many acres at this point, but the drought conditions and fuel conditions are right up there with the 2002 season, if not worse."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "NASA satellites see wildfires across Colorado." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626163842.htm>.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. (2012, June 26). NASA satellites see wildfires across Colorado. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626163842.htm
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "NASA satellites see wildfires across Colorado." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626163842.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) — Hurricane Gonzalo pounded Bermuda with wind and heavy surf on Friday, bearing down on the tiny British territory as a powerful Category 3 storm that could raise coastal seas as much as 10 feet. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) — Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) — Powerful hurricane could hit Bermuda this weekend, and even if it misses it will likely do some damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) — One of the largest volcanic eruptions in centuries is occurring on Iceland. The volcano Bardarbunga is producing high levels of sulfur dioxide. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins