On May 16, 2012, at 9:55 a.m. local time (16:55 Universal Time), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image of the Gladiator and Sunflower wildfires in Arizona. Both fires were burning on National Forest lands north of Phoenix. The Gladiator Fire began on May 13 and by May 16 had prompted an evacuation order for the historic mining community of Crown King, which is not clearly visible in this image but is just south of the fire. By May 17, the blaze had burned 6,573 acres of ponderosa pine and chaparral, and firefighters considered it 5 percent contained. The Sunflower Fire began on May 12 and had burned 12,500 acres by May 17. It was not a threat to any nearby communities.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.