Large Fires in Northern Mexico

Large Fires in Northern Mexico

Two large and smoky wildfires continued to burn in northern Mexico on April 6, 2011. The fires are outlined in red in this image, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. The fires are burning in a remote mountainous area of Mexico’s Coahuila state near the Texas border.

According to the Mexican Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, fires in Coahuila had burned more than 40,000 hectares of mostly brush and pastureland as of April 5. Strong winds, including a tornado, and steep, inaccessible terrain had been making the fires difficult to combat. As of April 5, 830 firefighters are working to control the fires.

Cold winter temperatures may have led to dangerous fire conditions. A cold snap in February damaged plants throughout northern Mexico. The dead, dry plant matter provided fuel for the fires, said news reports.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

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