Having charred about 21,000 acres (8,500 hectares), the National Creek Complex fire in southern Oregon is not a particularly large fire. But it is still big enough to be the largest on record in Crater Lake National Park, according to The Bulletin. The park’s records data back to 1931; the next largest fire burned 2,930 acres in 2006.
On September 13, 2015, the Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s EO-1 satellite captured this image of smoke billowing from the complex of fires northwest of Crater Lake.
Lightning triggered one of the fires on August 1 at an elevation of 5,800 feet (1,768 meters). Normally, that elevation would be covered with snow, but an ongoing drought in the Pacific Northwest has significantly reduced snow cover in the region’s mountain ranges.
Across the United States, wildfires have burned 8.8 million acres in 2015—nearly 3 million more than usual for this point in the season.
NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team. Caption by Adam Voiland.