Twelve Years of Fires

Discussions of forest fires and fire management.

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Twelve Years of Fires

Post by edfrank » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:36 pm

Twelve Years of Fires
July 20th, 2012 by Michon Scott ... =eoa-blogs

Besides acquiring photo-like images of the surface of Earth, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites can detect the anomalously high temperatures associated with actively burning fires. Using this “hotspot” data, John Nelson of IDV Solutions made a map of major fires in the contiguous 48 United States from 2001 through early July 2012.

Click on image to see its original size
Image courtesy John Nelson, IDV Solutions.

This map shows not just the locations, but also the intensity of major fires. Nelson has scaled the fires by “units of the typical American nuclear power plant’s summertime capacity.” The most intense fires are yellow, and less intense fires appear in shades of magenta and purple. Graphs in the lower left corner show the proportion of fires by year and by month.

Jessica McCarty, who studies U.S. fire patterns at Michigan Tech Research Institute, observes that the most intense blazes are usually wildfires in forested or peatland areas. Prescribed fires to benefit agriculture and ranching are generally less intense.

A high-resolution version of this image is available here: ... otostream/

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