Burning along the western edge of Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico reached 92,735 acres on June 30, 2011. The fire has destroyed 13 homes and forced the evacuation of the city of Los Alamos. South of the city, the national lab has been closed all week, though preventative burns have kept the fire off lab property. The Las Conchas Fire started on June 26 and is 3 percent contained.
These two images, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite, show the fire on June 29. Active fire areas are outlined in red. The top image shows a natural color view of the fire. The lower image combines visible and infrared light to show the area burned throughout the week. In the infrared light, the smoke is a faint blue haze that allows a view of the ground below. The hot fire glows orange, and the newly burned land is dark red. Similar images of New Mexico are available twice daily from the MODIS Rapid Response System.
- InciWeb. (2011, June 30). Las Conchas. Accessed June 30, 2011.
- InciWeb. (2011, June 29). Los Alamos Fire Chief: Preventative burns were successful. Accessed June 30, 2011.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.