Red flag warnings, cautioning residents that weather conditions were dangerously favorable for the rapid growth of wildfires, were in place for much of eastern Alaska on August 3, 2009, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image. Places where the sensor detected actively burning fires are marked with red dots. Hundreds of thousands of acres were burning at the time of this image. The largest fire, the Railbelt Complex, had grown to more than 481,000 acres as of August 4, and the southern perimeter of the fire was active along a 12-mile front, according to the morning situation report from the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center.
The large image provided above is at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution (level of detail). Twice-daily images of interior Alaska are available from the MODIS Rapid Response Team in additional resolutions and formats, including a false-color version that highlights the location of burn scars and georeferenced images that can be used in Google Earth.