NASA: USA - Idaho - Lightning Fires in Central Idaho - California - Rim Fire - A Nighttime View of California’s Rim Fire - 08.28.13

Posted by ricardo marcenaro | Posted in | Posted on 14:49


Lightning Fires in Central Idaho
Lightning Fires in Central Idaho
acquired August 10, 2013 download large image (2 MB, JPEG, 1800x2400)
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Lightning Fires in Central Idaho
acquired August 10, 2013 download large image (153 KB, JPEG, 1280x960) 
 
Lightning started four large wildfires in central Idaho in early August 2013. After igniting on August 8, the Elk Complex fire and Pony Complex fire both grew rapidly on August 10, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image. The red outlines show the fire area as detected by MODIS.
The Elk Complex Fire appears to have generated a large pyrocumulus cloud, which is formed by fire-heated air that rises rapidly into the atmosphere. The photo, originally published on the Elk Complex Incident site, shows the white cloud rising above the gray smoke plume on the afternoon of August 10. The Elk Complex Fire threatened hundreds of homes and forced evacuations in the Pine-Featherville region and in the small community of Prairie. It is the highest priority fire in the nation. By August 12, the fire had burned 90,249 acres of grass, brush, and conifer stands, making it the second-largest active fire in the United States.
The nation’s largest wildfire is the Pony Complex Fire, which forced evacuations in Mayfield and Canyon Creek. Burning through grass, sagebrush, and timber, this fire was 119,543 acres in size by August 12. It was 20 percent contained and had a high potential for growth.
The McCan and Beaver Creek fires were initially grouped together as the Beaver Creek Complex, but firefighters quickly divided the two to simplify management. Both fires are burning in difficult terrain. The McCan fire has burned 23,860 acres since August 7. The Beaver Creek fire started on August 9 and has burned 24,120 acres.
Together the four fires have burned more than 400 square miles (257,772 acres). 1,724 firefighters are working to control or manage the fires. The smoke is having a toll on public health. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s warned residents of central Idaho—including the populated areas around Boise and Twin Falls—that air quality had reached unhealthy levels.
  1. References

  2. Idaho Smoke Information (2013, August 12) Air quality in central Idaho mountains now designated unhealthy because of fires. Accessed August 13, 2013.
  3. Idaho Statesman (2013, August 12) Pine residents vow to stay as Elk Complex fire burns. Accessed August 13, 2013.
  4. InciWeb (2013, August 12) Beaver Creek Fire. Accessed August 13, 2013.
  5. InciWeb (2013, August 12) Elk Complex. Accessed August 12, 2013.
  6. InciWeb (2013, August 12) McCan Fire. Accessed August 12, 2013.
  7. InciWeb (2013, August 12) Pony Complex. Accessed August 12, 2013.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Photo courtesy of InciWeb. Caption by Holli Riebeek.
Instrument: 
Aqua - MODIS
 
Rim Fire, California
Rim Fire, California
acquired August 26, 2013 download large image (2 MB, JPEG, 2200x2800) 
 
On August 26, 2013, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of the Rim fire burning in and near Yosemite National Park. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fire.
NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Adam Voiland.
Instrument: 
Aqua - MODIS
 
A Nighttime View of California’s Rim Fire
A Nighttime View of California’s Rim Fire
acquired August 23, 2013 download large image (682 KB, JPEG, 2000x2000)
acquired August 24, 2013 download large image (718 KB, JPEG, 2000x2000)
acquired August 25, 2013 download large image (612 KB, JPEG, 2000x2000)
acquired August 26, 2013 download large image (661 KB, JPEG, 2000x2000) 
 
The winter of 2013 was among the driest on record for California, setting the stage for an active fire season. By August 26, the Rim Fire had made its way into the record books. At just 15 percent contained, the fire is now the 13th largest in California since records began in 1932. The fire is also threatening one of the United States’ greatest natural treasures: Yosemite National Park.
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite tracked the growth of the fire between August 23–26. The VIIRS day-night band is extremely sensitive to low light, making it possible to see the fire front from space at night. The brightest, most intense parts of the fire glow white, exceeding the brightness of the lights of Reno, Nevada, to the north. Pale gray smoke streams away from the fire, generally to the north.
The perimeter of the fire grows from day to day along different fronts, depending on winds and firefighting efforts. On August 24, firefighters focused their efforts on containing the western edge of the fire to prevent it from burning into Tuolumne City and the populated Highway 108 corridor. They also fought the eastern edge of the fire to protect Yosemite National Park. These efforts are evident in the image: Between August 23 and 24, the eastern edge of the fire held steady, and the western edge receded. The fire grew in the southeast.
On the morning of August 25 fire managers reported that the blaze was growing in the north and east. In the image, the most intense activity is just inside Yosemite National Park.
Firefighters reported that the Rim Fire continued to be extremely active on its eastern front on the morning of August 26, and this activity is visible in the image. By 8:00 a.m., the fire had burned 149,780 acres and forced firefighters in Yosemite National Park to take measures to protect the Merced and Tuolumne Groves of Giant Sequoias. However, the National Park Service reported that the trees were not in imminent danger. While parts of Yosemite National Park are closed, webcams show that most of the park has not been affected.
The Rim Fire started on the afternoon of August 17, 2013. It has destroyed 23 structures and threatened 4,500 other buildings. The cause is under investigation.
  1. References

  2. InciWeb (2013, August 26) Rim Fire. Accessed August 26, 2013.
  3. InciWeb (2013, August 26) Rim Fire update #14. Accessed August 26, 2013.
  4. InciWeb (2013, August 25) Rim Fire update #12. Accessed August 26, 2013.
  5. InciWeb (2013, August 24) Rim Fire update #10. Accessed August 26, 2013.
  6. Los Angeles Times (2013, August 26) Rim fire: Small gains reported in day 10 of blaze near Yosemite. Accessed August 26, 2013.
  7. National Geographic (2013, August 26) With Rim Fire near, a look at Yosemite’s history with fire. Accessed August 26, 2013.
  8. State of California (2013) CAL FIRE – fire season 2013.Accessed August 26, 2013.
  9. State of California (2013, August 26) Top 20 largest California wildfires.
  10. Yosemite National Park (2013, August 26) Rim Fire. Accessed August 26, 2013.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using VIIRS day-night band data. Caption by Holli Riebeek.
Instrument: 
Suomi NPP - VIIRS






NASA: USA - Idaho - Lightning Fires in Central Idaho - California - Rim Fire - A Nighttime View of California’s Rim Fire - 08.28.13






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