On July 11, 2004, the clouds that had been shielding Alaska from the view of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite finally broke, revealing that numerous large fires were still burning across the state. This scene shows the Upper Yukon Flats region in the east-central part of the state; the Yukon River runs in a tan line through the bottom half of the image. Areas where MODIS detected active fires are outlined in red. The largest of the fires is the Pingo, located just left of image center. To date, the fires have cost more than $10 million to combat.
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.