Fires in Alaska • Earth.com Fires in Alaska fire behavior

Last update: October 15th, 2019 at 1:07 pm

Thunderstorms over Alaska drove active fire behavior at the 40,000-acre Sand Creek Fire in east-central Alaska (largest cluster of red dots) on June 23, 2003. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from June 23 shows active fire locations marked with red dots. Other scattered fires were detected across the state.

The high-resolution image provided above is 500 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution of 250 meters.

Alaska 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. Also 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: Image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

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