The summer of 2000 is shaping up to be the worst
U.S. fire season in four years. On July 27, 2000, fires were
burning in Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado), Montana,
Idaho, Utah, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas,
and California. The Mesa Verde fire has threatened some prehistoric
archeological sites. Ironically, other sites have been unearthed as vegetation was
burned away by the fire and as firefighters dug trenches to serve as firebreaks. In
a bizarre coincidence, one of the fires came close to the
Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, the third
nuclear site affected by fire this year.
This image from GOES 11, the newest NOAA Geostationary
Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), shows smoke plumes
and heat signatures (red) from many of fires in the western United States on the
evening of July 27.