Big wildfires, including the Big Mountain and Bull Creek fires, burned in Alaska and Yukon Territory in early June 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on June 7, 2010. The red outlines are hotspots associated with high surface temperatures characteristic of wildfires. All the fires send their pale gray smoke toward the west.
The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center reported a total of 40 wildfires in the state as of June 7. The same day, the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre reported that 14 fires had been active during the previous day.Alaska (/əˈlæskə/ (listen); Aleut: Alax̂sxax̂; Inupiaq: Alaasikaq; Alutiiq: Alas’kaaq; Tlingit: Anáaski; Russian: Аляска, romanized: Alyaska) is a U.S. state in the northwest extremity of the United States West Coast, just across the Bering Strait from Asia. The Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon border the state to the east and southeast. Its most extreme western part is Attu Island, and it has a maritime border with Russia (Chukotka Autonomous Okrug) to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas—southern parts of the Arctic Ocean. The Pacific Ocean lies to the south and southwest. It is the largest U.S. state by area and the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the 3rd least populous and the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States; nevertheless, it is by far the most populous territory located mostly north of the 60th parallel in North America: its population—estimated at 738,432 by the United States Census Bureau in 2015 is more than quadruple the combined populations of Northern Canada and Greenland. Approximately half of Alaska’s residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska’s economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, and oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. United States armed forces bases and tourism are also a significant part of the economy.
Credit: NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption by Michon Scott.