NASA Sees Las Conchas Fire Near Los Alamos, New Mexico
NASA's Terra satellite flew over New Mexico and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) captured an image on June 27 at 17:40 UTC (1:40 p.m. EDT) that shows the smoke and heat (in red) from the Las Conchas fire near Los Alamos. The smoke from the nearby Pacheco fire (east) is also somewhat visible in the image.
MODIS is an instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite and its fire product detects heat signatures that indicate high surface area temperatures. The image also shows the brownish colored smoke blowing to the east and into Texas and Oklahoma.
A Mandatory evacuation has been ordered for residents of Los Alamos, while those in nearby White Rock are under a voluntary evacuation. Cochiti Mesa, Las Conchas, Bandelier National Monument, and campgrounds near the fire were evacuated on Monday, June 27, 2011.
This fire now spans 43, 597 acres, according to InciWeb. The "Incident Information System" website reports wildfire conditions throughout the country. Inciweb reported that the fire started on private land is and is burning in the Jemez Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest; approximately 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos. The fire has threatened structures and power lines. Both power and phone lines are reported down in the area and the fire is currently about one mile southwest of the boundary of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The Pacheco Fire, located to the east (right) of the Las Conchas fire, has covered 9.927 acres. This fire is also part of the Santa Fe National Forest and located to the northeast of Santa Fe. According to Inciweb, this fire threatens the Santa Fe ski area and watershed, Nambe Pueblo lands, Tesuque Pueblo lands and Tesuque Peak communications site. The smoke from that fire is somewhat obscured by altocumulus clouds (white small rounded clouds).
For updated information on the fire from Inciweb, go to: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2385/
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption by Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.