Record-breaking lightning activity in Alaska last week (June 14-16, 2004) triggered dozens of wildfires in Alaska and Canada. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Terra satellite shows fires and smoke on June 21, 2004. Areas where MODIS detected fire are marked in red. The top part of this image shows the Yukon Flats region of east-central Alaska. North of the hump in the river, which appears as a braided, light brown line, are the two largest fires in the Solstice Complex: the Pingo (top) and the Winter Trail (below). Both fires are growing rapidly, each increasing by more than 3,000 acres overnight between June 20 and 21.
In Alaska, the landscape is already changing over to its fall wardrobe, with summerâ€™s green being traded for brown and gold. Fires, some of which have been burning since before the beginning of summer, were still smoldering on September 7, 2004.