This image shows the Clear Creek fire in Idaho on the morning of
August 30, 2000, as seen by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and
Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), flying aboard NASAs Terra spacecraft. The United States Forest Service first
detected the Clear Creek fire on July 10, 2000, and deployed a handful of firefighters
and a helicopter to fight the fire. By the end of the day, the fire had
consumed 12 hectares (30 acres) of forest. Later in July, strong winds caused
the fire to jump firebreaks, increasing the burned area from 21,260 hectares (52,500 acres)
on the 26th to 24,300 hectares (60,000 acres) on the 27th. On August
30, 1787 people, 16 helicopters, 47 fire engines, and 20 bulldozers were
fighting the fire, which had consumed 80,990 hectares (199,973 acres).
In the following days, rain and cool temperatures slowed the growth of
the fire. Although the fire stopped spreading in the first week of
September, it was not declared contained until October 14th, having
burned 83,580 hectares (206,379 acres).
ASTER views the Earth in wavelengths of light ranging from 0.56
micro;m (green) to 11.3 µm (thermal infrared ). The image above
combines a color composite of near-infrared, red, and green light at 15-meter
(49-foot) resolution with thermal infrared data at 90-meter (295-foot) resolution.
Red indicates vegetation, light gray corresponds to
barren areas, dark gray to recently burned areas, and blue-black to water,
while light blue is smoke. Flaming areas show up as orange, yellow, and
Image by Robert Simmon, based on data from
NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan
ASTER Science Team