Feature

Colorado's "Reservoir Road Fire" from Space
09.13.10
 
September 13, 2010

Colorado fires from September 13, 2010› View larger image
The MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of the Reservoir Road Fire (outlined in red) near Loveland, Colorado on Sept. 12 at 19:20 UTC (3:20 p.m. EDT). Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
NASA's MODIS Instrument Sees Colorado's "Reservoir Road Fire" from Space

NASA's Aqua satellite flies around the Earth twice a day and captures visible and infrared imagery. On Sept. 12 at 19:20 UTC (3:20 p.m. EDT), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on Aqua captured a visible image of the "Reservoir Road Fire" that is currently raging in the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests / Pawnee National Grassland.

According to the National Forest Incident report on September 13, the Reservoir Road Fire near Loveland, Colorado, has burned 600 acres, and firefighting continues. Loveland is the second most populous city in Larimer County, Colo. Loveland is located 46 miles north of Denver.

MODIS is a key instrument aboard two of NASA's satellites: Aqua and Terra. Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth's surface every 1 to 2 days. These data are improving our understanding of global dynamics and processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere. MODIS data has been used to find smoke plumes and capture images of hurricanes and changes in glaciers. There are many applications for this data. The data from both MODIS instruments are processed into images by the MODIS Rapid Response Team located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

U.S. Forest Service in Fort Collins, Colo. is reporting on the fire through their incident information system on-line, known as Inci-Web. They report today, Sept. 13, that crews and engines remained on scene over night from Sept. 12 through today, creating a line on the south side of the fire. The fire saw little growth overnight. Additional crews will work the fire today and air operations will begin after the weather inversion lifts. The fire is burning in Larimer County, predominately on private land.

Meanwhile the Fourmile Canyon Fire, which was raging last week, is 87 percent contained as of Sept. 13, according to the U.S. Forest Service website that noted: "There are still areas within the fire that are smoldering a change in weather conditions can cause the fire to flare up." That fire was about 5 miles west of downtown Boulder and affected 6,250 acres. The U.S. Forest Service also stated that the Boulder County Sheriff's Department announced that residents will be allowed into the fire area over the next several days. Information on the re-entry and the process that will be used has been posted at www.boulderOEM.com.

For the incident website on the fire, go to: › http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2123/

Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



The MODIS instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image of the fire at 2:40 p.m. local time on September 7, 2010. > View larger
The MODIS instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image of the fire at 2:40 p.m. local time on September 7, 2010. The red outline corresponds with the unusually high surface temperatures associated with an active fire. Credit: NASA/MODIS
September 8, 2010

The Fourmile Canyon Fire continues to burn west of Boulder, Colorado on September 7 casting a long line of smoke to the east that was visible from NASA's Aqua satellite in its orbit around the Earth.



The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image of the fire at 2:40 p.m. local time (20:40 UTC) on September 7, 2010. The red outline corresponds with the unusually high surface temperatures associated with an active fire. The thick smoke plume flows eastward. Over the plains northeast of Denver, the smoke plume casts a shadow to the north.

By early morning on September 8, thousands of people had abandoned their homes while the battle against the blaze continued.

Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.




September 7, 2010

Wildfire Breaks Out in Colorado Over Labor Day Weekend


The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of the fire at 12:15 p.m. local time (18:15 UTC) on September 6, 2010 > View larger
A wildfire broke out west of Boulder, Colorado, in Fourmile Canyon. The blaze broke out around 10 a.m. on September 6, 2010. Credit: NASA/MODIS
A wildfire broke out west of Boulder, Colorado, in early September 2010. Known as the Fourmile Canyon Fire, the blaze broke out around 10 a.m. on September 6, although investigators were still working to identify the cause a day later, according to news reports. On September 6, the Geographic Area Coordination Center reported that the fire had burned 3,000 acres and was not contained on any front. The fire had burned 12 houses and buildings, and threatened 500 more.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of the fire at 12:15 p.m. local time (18:15 UTC) on September 6, 2010. The red outline corresponds with the unusually high surface temperatures associated with an active fire. A river of thick smoke flows eastward. Over the plains northeast of Denver, the smoke plume casts a shadow to the north.

This image shows the city of Boulder lying in the path of the smoke. The same day that MODIS acquired this image, Boulder County issued a public health alert warning residents to limit physical activity and remain indoors if possible. On September 7, smoke continued to affect air quality and limit visibility in Boulder. Early on the morning of September 7, news sources reported that the fire was still not contained.