Wildfires Have Devastated 5 Million Acres, and Alaska is Still Burning

Illustration for article titled Wildfires Have Devastated 5 Million Acres, and Alaska is Still Burning

Alaska’s wildfires burned through their 5 millionth acre this week, making 2015 the third most destructive wildfire season ever recorded in the state, and NASA’s Terra satellite captured this striking image of the fires from above.

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Terra’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) took this photograph of Alaska Areas that are actively burning are outlined in red on the image.

Illustration for article titled Wildfires Have Devastated 5 Million Acres, and Alaska is Still Burning
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Notice that most of the fires are grouped into two large clusters, as well as a few smaller ones. The cluster in the upper portion of the image is near the town of Hughes, which has had a very rough season; the first fires started in the area in mid-June, and the town hasn’t had much of a break since. Meanwhile, smoke from the Yukon/Ruby Area Fires, the large group in the lower portion of the image, has been so intense that it has interfered with firefighters’ efforts.

Altogether, there have been 743 individual fires this season, which have burned 5,013,053.4 acres in Alaska.

[NASA]


Contact the author at k.smithstrickland@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter.

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DISCUSSION

Alaska is 375,000,000 acres, so 5,000,000 is no big thing, it’s .013%, in other words 99.99% of Alaska remains un-torched!