Monday, August 29, 2011

Marsh Fire Near New Orleans

Serendipity: in conducting our regular daily monitoring of satellite imagery for oil pollution in the Gulf of Mexico, we noticed a huge plume of smoke coming from the east side of the city of New Orleans on this NASA/MODIS satellite image taken early Saturday afternoon:

Detail from NASA/MODIS satellite image taken August 27, 2011 showing 200-mile-long smoke plume originating on the east side of New Orleans.
We tweeted about this at 7:14pm eastern, and in the wee hours this morning @dmyersloyola replied that we'd identified a large wildfire burning in a marsh on the edge of town.  (Are you following us on Twitter yet?)  Here's a video report on the fire. It's extremely smokey, a serious air-quality problem and public health concern for nearby residents.  It was possibly triggered by lightning.


  1. Yes, it was nasty for several days. When the smoke cloud drifted through the downtown area, even the interior of my office was bad. Our throats got a little sore, and my eyes were irritated. Then, as quickly as the smoke cloud arrived, it cleared out when the wind changed. Today, we've had a decent rain. I think the rain is expected to douse the fire. ---Tom Nally, New Orleans