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Fast-Moving Utah Fire Proves Deadly
A devastating fire tore through northeastern Utah over the weekend, killing three and forcing hundreds to evacuate.

As of July 2, 2007, the rapidly growing fire had already scorched more than 46 square miles of land just north of Neola, Utah, about 100 miles east of Salt Lake City. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, only 5 percent of the blaze has been contained at this time.

Neola North Fire, Utah

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of the Neola North Fire on July 1, 2007. Actively burning fires are outlined in red. Thick smoke from the blaze can be seen on the right side of the image, mingling with the clouds overhead.

The wildfire started on the morning of Friday, June 29, 2007, and quickly spread to Ashley National Forest, which fire officials subsequently closed to the public.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency reports that about 300 people are currently under a mandatory evacuation order, and that number may increase.

In neighboring Dryfork Canyon, just 8 miles northeast of the fire, 150 homes could become threatened by July 3. Fire officials speculate that if there is no change in the weather there is potential for the fire to grow.

Low winds and humidity on top of high temperatures have fueled the flames. The National Weather Service is predicting similar conditions for the next several days.

Credit: NASA's MODIS Rapid Response

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Laura Spector
Goddard Space Flight Center