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Little Bear Fire, New Mexico
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
The Little Bear Fire, a lightning-sparked blaze near Ruidoso, New Mexico, was discovered on June 4, 2012. By June 11, the fast-burning fire had charred 34,561 acres (139 square kilometers) and destroyed 35 structures. It forced hundreds of people to evacuate.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured these views of the fire on June 9, 2012. Red outlines approximate the boundaries of the actively burning fire. A wider view of the same image shows how winds had blown smoke (bottom) both north and south over a large portion of northern Texas.