Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rim Fire, Yosemite National Park

We've been following the massive Rim Fire in California that is threatening a major drinking water supply and has already burned across a large chunk of Yosemite National Park.  Two magnificent stands of ancient Giant Sequoias, the Merced and Tuolumne Groves, are uncomfortably close to the active fire line, although these trees have undoubtedly withstood many fires in their lifetimes. 

These images, captured by the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite at 2:05 pm local time yesterday (August 26), show some of the details:

MODIS/Aqua visible satellite image showing plumes of smoke emanating from Rim Fire. Yosemite National Park boundary shown in orange; Merced and Tuolumne groves of Giant Sequoias marked with green tree icons.  Image taken at 2:05pm local time on August 26, 2013.
MODIS/Aqua 7-2-1 infrared composite version of August 26 image.  Burned area is clearly shown in dark orange-brown. Active fire line is bright orange.
Detail from image above. Active fire line is bright orange, including area well within the park boundary. The total area burned at this point is about 170,000 acres (269 square miles).  The area burned within Yosemite National Park is about 35,000 acres (55 square miles).

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