Smoke Over Northern Alaska •

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

Fires have raged throughout Northern Alaska in 2015. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image on July 14, 2015. Actively burning areas, detected by the thermal bands on MODIS, are outlined in red.

In mid-July Alaska was headed towards its worst wildfire year on record. But then cool, wet weather settled in and seemed to be calming the devastating season. Government officials also trimmed tens of thousands of acres from early estimates of burned area after they acquired more accurate data. The calm was short lived, however, and the fire season continues to consume more acreage.

According the August 12 report from the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center, fires have now burned 5,098,829.9 acres in 2015. It has edged past the previous second-worst year, which was 1957 with 5,049,661 acres burned. The amount of acreage burned in Alaska during June 2015 shattered the previous record set in June 2004 by more than 700,000 acres.


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