The 2004 fire season in Alaska and western Canada continues to be a smoky one. On August 10, 2004, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of western Alaska (left), Yukon Territory (center), and westernmost Northwest Territories, Canada, with a huge plume of smoke fanning out from several large fires (marked in yellow). The largest cluster of fires is located north of the Alaska Range Mountains, and a second concentration is apparent northwest (up and to the left) of that cluster, south of the Yukon River. Between those two clusters of fires, a thick river of smoke flows northeastward over Eagle Plain. Mackenzie Bay is near top center, and the Amundsen Gulf is to its east at top right. At bottom left is the Gulf of Alaska.
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.