Las Conchas Fire Grows Near Los Alamos, New Mexico
Closings and evacuations continue from the Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico. Fire and smoke from the wildfire were visible from NASA's Aqua satellite yesterday as it flew over New Mexico. Aqua's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) captured an image on June 28 at 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. EDT) that shows the smoke and heat (in red) from the Las Conchas fire near Los Alamos.
MODIS is an instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite and its fire product detects heat signatures that indicate high surface area temperatures. The image also shows the brownish colored smoke blowing northeast into Colorado.
This fire has increased in coverage to 60,741 acres on June 28 from 43,597 acres on June 27 according to reports on InciWeb, The "Incident Information System" website. InciWeb reports wildfire conditions throughout the country.
According to InciWeb's update on June 28 at 21:30 UTC (5:30 p.m. EDT), in the northern extent of the fire, the Pajarito Ski Resort is being affected by the fire and firefighters are providing structural protection. To the east, structural protection continues in Bandelier National Monument. South of the fire, firefighters continue to scout for potential fire lines.
The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument will close to the public on Wednesday June 29. The Los Alamos National Laboratory will be closed due to the fire. Check the LANL web page for updates.
Evacuations are still in effect. The city of Los Alamos is under an evacuation order. White Rock is currently under a voluntary evacuation. According the website, the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society and the Espanola Valley Humane Society are taking in dogs, cats and other small pets to help those displaced by the Las Conches Fire.
For updated information on the fire from Inciweb, go to: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2385/
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team.
Caption by Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.