Pockets of Fires Plague the Western US
All five fires shown in this image are from the MODIS instrument on the Aqua satellite. All five fires are still very active and show no signs of slowing. The Reading Fire and Chips Fires both started in July and have yet to be contained. Reading Fire is only 10% contained and has burned over 20,000 acres. The cause of the fire was a lightning strike. In contrast, the cause of the Chips Fire is still under investigation. The Chips Fire is 12% contained and has burned over 31,000 acres. The cost of this fire alone has been $13,800,000 so far. There are still 600 residences threatened by the Chips Fire.
The Barry Point Fire in California was started by a lightning strike on August 6. It is 25% contained and has burned 23,000 acres. This fire is still exhibiting very active fire behavior with group torching, short range spotting and pockets of high intensity fire behavior.
The Hanson Fire in Nevada was caused by a lightning strike on Aug. 10. Efforts to contain this fire are severely hampered by extreme terrain and inaccessibility. Multiple structures are threatened in the area adjacent to the fire. Sage grouse, Lahanton cutthroat trout, pygmy rabbit and big horn sheep habitat is also threatened. Hanson is only 20% contained and has burned over 14,000 acres.
Still burning in both Oregon and Nevada is the Holloway Fire sparked by a lightning strike on August 5, 2012. Growth potential is extreme and the terrain is extreme. On August 13 firefighters will continue flanking the fire's two hot areas (southwest and north/northeast) around the clock. Holloway is 48% contained and over 336,000 acres have burned to date.
Information regarding these fires has been culled from Inciweb.org. This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on August 11, 2012 at 20:40 UTC (4:40 pm EDT). Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Lynn Jenner NASA/GSFC