Last update: September 18th, 2019 at 6:00 pm
After nearly a month blazing through Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada, the Fort McMurray wildfire continues to burn out of control. As of May 28, 2016, the Alberta government stated that the blaze has consumed an estimated 580,663 hectares.
Firefighters from across Canada as well as South Africa and the United States have joined forces to conquer this fire. There are 2,267 firefighters, 95 helicopters, 263 pieces of heavy equipment, and 24 air tankers battling a total of 17 fires across Alberta. The weather, which has been hot and dry, is expected to become somewhat cooler and more humid in the upcoming days, lending some assistance to the firefighting efforts.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured a true-color image of the Fort McMurray fire on May 25. Red hotspots mark areas where the thermal sensors on the MODIS instrument detected high temperatures. When accompanied by smoke, as in this image, such hotspots are diagnostic for actively burning fires.