In the Okanogan Range Mountains of northern Washington, the Tripod Complex Fire has been challenging firefighters since late July 2006. On August 28, 2006, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite showed that the Tripod Fire had company: the Tatoosh Complex to the west. The image reveals one of the firefighters’ biggest obstacles—the rugged terrain. Forested mountains climb high into the sky, their summits often bare of vegetation or capped with snow (lower left). Much of the land is wilderness area, which means that facilities and roads are minimal. According to reports from the National Interagency Fire Center on August 29, the 142,326-acre Tripod Complex Fire was about 48 percent contained, while the 2,550-acre Tatoosh Complex Fire was completely uncontained.
The high-resolution image provided above has a spatial resolution of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at additional resolutions.
In the first week of September 2006, five large fires were burning in northern Washington: the Tripod Complex, the Tatoosh Complex, the Cedar Creek Fire, the Flick Creek Fire, and the Tinpan Fire. This image from September 7 shows active fires and thick smoke over the area.