More than two weeks after a forest fire broke out near Fort McMurray in the Canadian province of Alberta, the fire was still raging. After burning through Fort McMurray, a shift in the winds on May 16 began to push flames back toward oil sands infrastructure north of the settlement. One worker camp north of town was overtaken by the fire in the afternoon on May 17.
On May 16, 2016, at 19:40 UTC (1:40 p.m. local time), the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi-NPP satellite captured a natural-color image of active fires near Fort McMurray. Red outlines indicate hot spots where VIIRS detected warm surface temperatures associated with fires. Thick plumes of smoke were blowing to the northeast.
NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Adam Voiland.