Forest Fires in United States and Canada

02 July 2015


 

On June 28, 2015, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of wildfires burning in Alberta, north of the Athabasa oil sands. Actively burning areas, detected by the thermal bands on MODIS, are outlined in red, while forests appear dark green.

A combination of lightning, parched forests, and strong winds have fueled the fires. According to the Canadian government, 27 uncontrolled fires were burning in Alberta on June 28. Thirty were burning to the east in Saskatchewan.

The 2015 fire season got off to an unusually early start in Canada when blazes broke out in the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, and Alberta in late May. The Edmonton Sun has called the current fire season Alberta’s worst in five years.

Source:
NASA Earth Observatory

 

More than 100 new fires started over the weekend of June 20 to June 21, 2015, according to a report from Alaska Wildland Fire Information. The growing number of fires meant that smoke became an increasing concern for air quality in the state’s populated regions.

On June 22, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this view of smoke across Alaska. Red outlines indicate areas where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fire. Active fires surround Fairbanks, so even a change in wind direction would not bring relief from the gases and particles that can cause respiratory and other health problems.

Still, firefighters have made progress on some Alaskan fires including the Sockeye fire, about 350 kilometers (220 miles) southwest of Fairbanks (obscured by clouds in this image). That fire was 90 percent contained, according to a report issued on June 23. However, the report also noted that the weather forecast called for warm and dry weather, which could mean even more smoke.

Source:
NASA Earth Observatory

 

Higher-than-usual temperatures and a reduced snowpack have been affecting Alaska and Canadian territories this season.

In Alaska, 562 fires have scorched more than 250.000 hectares of land with a record of 6 active fires in one day.

 

The Sockeye Fire burned 55 houses and triggered thousands of evacuatios.

 

Experts say that fires may continue to burn and smoke populated areas increasign the risk of lung related deceases.

 

 

Wildland Fire related news from the Media: Note: The hyperlinks on the left side of each news are password-protected (User ID and password to enter the GFMC database are
         available for partners of GFMC). The links on the right side (in brackets) are leading to the original news source; sometimes these news are expiring rather swiftly - a reason for the
         establishment of the internal GFMC database):

For more media reports see GFMC Media page: http://www.fire.uni-freiburg.de/media/news.htm


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