Reading and Chips Fires in California
Wildfires raged across Colorado earlier this summer. Now California, Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon are feeling the heat. On August 14, 2012, numerous fires blazed across the four western states, burning through everything from sagebrush to grass to beetle-killed lodgepole pine forests.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of the fires on Aug 11, 2012. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fires.
Three large fires burned through coniferous forests in northern California: the Reading fire in Lassen Volcanic National Park, the Chips fire in Plumas National Forest, and the Fort Complex fire in Klamath National Forest. The largest of the three (Chips) had consumed 57 square miles (148 square kilometers) and was 12 percent contained by August 14. The Reading fire had consumed 37 square miles and was 15 percent contained, whereas the Fort Complex Fire had burned 3 square miles and was 10 percent contained. All three were ignited by lightning. For a look at other fires in the U.S. west, visit: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=78832&src=eoa-iotd
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response. Caption by Adam Voiland.