Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
According to reports from the Alaska Forest Service, 50 active fires are burning in the state as of August 1, 2002. More than 1 million acres have burned so far this year. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from August 1, 2002, shows multiple large fires (red dots) are emitting thick plumes of smoke that are blanketing the southern part of the state. The Yukon River comes in at upper right and flows toward the bottom left of the image.
These scattered large fires burning in Alaska may be the result of extreme lightning activity experienced from July 17 to the 19, 2002, when the region received 12,000 lightning strikes.
In the false-color image, vegetation is bright green, and burned areas are reddish brown.
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