Whitewater-Baldy Complex “A Ring of Fire”
The Whitewater-Baldy Complex fires in western New Mexico continue burning in rugged terrain of the Gila National Forest and generating a lot of smoke as seen in this image taken on June 1 at 2030 UTC (4:30 p.m. EDT) by NASA's Aqua satellite. The heat signatures of the fire also seem to form a “ring of fire.”
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument provides visible imagery and can detect the heat signatures of the fires. The heat from the fires is outlined in red in the images created, and the smoke from the fires appears light brown in color. The MODIS image shows 12 large hot-spots and smoke blowing to the southeast. As of June 4, the fire now covers 241,701 acres. About 70,000 acres have burned since June 1. What's fueling the fire? Timber, mixed conifer, ponderosa pine, pinon/juniper and grass fuels are in the area as well as a lot of downed trees and dead vegetation. On June 4, the fire was 18 percent contained.
According to Inciweb, the Incident Information System that reports on the status of U.S. wildfires, the Catron County Sheriff's Office will lift the evacuation order in Mogollon today, Monday, June 4, 2012, to residents and business owners. On June 6 the community will be re-opened to the public.
For updates on the fire from Inciweb: http://inciweb.org/incident/article/2870/14038/.
Image: NASA Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Text: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Rob Gutro