Forest Fire, Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge
Dry conditions and high winds have lead to numerous recent fire outbreaks throughout much of the southwestern and south-central USA. Drought conditions have persisted in the region for months, leading to a build-up of fire fuels, including dried grasses, shrubs, and trees. The combination of high amounts of dry fuel and frequent high winds has stoked small fires into widespread brush fires.
This January 2006 photograph captures a 25-kilometer long smoke plume from a fire in the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Louisiana. The image was acquired by the Expedition 12 crew on the International Space Station as it passed over the Texas-Louisiana border.
Image Credit: NASA