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World on Fire

Posted by feww on March 2, 2011

US: Highest No. of Wildfires (y-t-d)

US Wildfires: 50-percent more fires than the 10 year average

Fueled by dry weather (drought conditions) and wind, between January 1, 2011 and March 1, 2011 at least 9,760 fires consumed more than 230,000 acres. [10-year average: 6,205 fires; 153,877 acres]

States currently reporting large fires:

  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • New Mexico
  • Total no of new and active large fires: ~ 45

National Fire Activity:

  • Initial attack activity: Moderate (271 new fires)
  • New large fires: 7
  • Large fires contained: 14
  • Uncontained large fires: 12


Active Fire Mapping: USDA Forest Service. Click image to enlarge.

Wildfires have destroyed at least 80 homes in Texas and scorched some 300 square kilometers.

“From Feb. 21 through Feb. 28, the Texas Forest Service responded to 63 fires on nearly 140,000 acres — mostly in the Panhandle and Rolling Plains.” Source

Destroyed by Wildfire:

  • Potter County, north of Amarillo: 30,000 acres and 30 homes
  • Motley County:  40,000 acres consumed, and the entire town of Matador had to be  evacuated

Fire bans were imposed  in 144 Texas counties as of Feb. 28, the Forest Service reported.

MODIS Rapid Response System Global Fire Maps


Latest fire map available: 02/20/11 – 03/01/11 (2011051-2011060). Each of these fire maps accumulates the locations of the fires detected by MODIS on board the Terra and Aqua satellites over a 10-day period. Each colored dot indicates a location where MODIS detected at least one fire during the compositing period. Color ranges from red where the fire count is low to yellow where number of fires is large. The compositing periods are referenced by their start and end dates (julian day). The duration of each compositing period was set to 10 days. Compositing periods are reset every year to make year-to-year comparisons straightforward. The first compositing period of each year starts on January 1. The last compositing period of each year includes a few days from the next year. SOURCE: MODIS . Click image to enlarge.

Large Wildfires in Florida


Three large wildfires burning out of control in eastern Florida forced the authorities to close major routes, including Highway 1 and Interstate 95 on February 28, 2011 as MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite took this image. SOURCE: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge.

MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite detected fires burning in southern Texas and Louisiana on March 1, 2011. Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge.

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3 Responses to “World on Fire”

  1. Nath Haymann said

    This morning (3 March 2011), local radio (Australian Broadcasting Commission) sent out a warning to residents between Jurien Bay and Leeman, north of Perth Western Australia, to refrain from swimming in the ocean if they saw schools of dead fish floating in the water – reported to have died as a result of rapid ocean warming. (Measured at 32 degrees yesterday 2 March) by local crayfishermen.

    • feww said

      Did they offer any additional explanation concerning toxicity?

      • At this stage, the cause is unknown. Craypots pulled up have had green algae clinging to them – usually takes a week to build up if pots are not pulled, but during this hot spell, the algae has only been taking 24 – 36 hours to build up. (Possibly flooding in North Western Australia has deposited large amounts of nutrients into the ocean from rivers and this has moved down the coast??)

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