Waldo Canyon Fire, Colorado
As of June 28, 2012, at least 300 homes have been destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs, Colo., according to the Denver Post newspaper. NASA's Aqua satellite flew overhead on June 26 and captured an image of the smoke plume as more evacuations continued.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument onboard Aqua has infrared capabilities that can detect heat. In the MODIS images, fires, or hot spots are color coded as red areas in imagery and smoke appears in light brown. Images are generated at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The image was captured on June 26, 2012 at 20:30 UTC (4:30 p.m. EDT) and revealed that despite two-thirds the state being covered with clouds, the smoke from the Waldo Canyon fire was still visible and blowing to the northeast. The cloud cover was obscuring the smoke from the other wildfires that currently pepper the state.
By June 28, the Waldo Canyon Fire forced 32,000 people from their homes. The fire started around noon on June 23, and by June 28 it had grown to 18,500 acres.
Image: Jeff Schmaltz, NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team;
Caption: Rob Gutro, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center