Wildfires in Texas

Wildfires in Texas

Fires continued burning in Texas and Mexico on April 18, 2011, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite took this natural-color image. Red outlines indicate hotspots—areas of high surface temperatures—associated with fires. Pale gray smoke plumes blow away from the fires, generally toward the northeast; the plumes were generally less intense than those of the previous day.

Besides hotspots and smoke plumes, this image shows burn scars left by the recent fires. Sizable scars appear at the sites of the Swenson and Wildcat fires. An especially large burn scar is associated with the Rockhouse fire. As of April 19, the Texas Forest Service provided these wildfire status reports:

  • Rockhouse – 191,066 acres, 75 percent contained
  • Wildcat – 150,000 acres, unknown containment
  • Swenson – 122,500 acres, 90 percent contained
  • PK West – 89,715 acres, unknown containment
  • PK East – 10,996 acres, unknown containment
  • Jackson Ranch – 6,687 acres, 50 percent contained

A large cluster of fires producing thick smoke appears in northeastern Mexico, where lightning strikes caused large fires in mid-March.

  1. References

  2. InciWeb. (2011, April 19). Current Incidents. Accessed April 19, 2011.
  3. Texas Forest Service. (2011, April 19). Texas Forest Service incident management situation report. Accessed April 19, 2011.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.