Some spectacular fires broke out across different parts of the US recently especially in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.  The Fontenelle blaze was so bad in Wyoming that firefighters were brought in from Alaska to help put out the hungry flames that have burned 150 square miles of the landscape.  The cause of the Fontenelle fire is not known according to the Incident Information website and it isn’t expected to be contained until 22 July, although a report today says that the fire is 75 percent contained.

In Colorado, it was reported that half of the US’s fire suppression equipment was being used there alone on 25 June.  The fires in Colorado even threatened the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado Springs; tens of thousands of people living there were given evacuation warnings.  The High Park fire started by lightning on 9 June.  It  consumed 83,205 acres (33,672 hectares), making it the second largest fire in Colorado’s history next to the Hayman fire in 2002 set by a forestry technician.

Here is a small collection of high-res images taken from remote satellites (mostly from NASA Earth Observatory) of some of the different fires that took place in the US.

Fontenelle fire three days after start. (NASA Earth Observatory)

Firefighters fighting the Fontenelle blaze. (

Burn scar from Fontenelle fire. (NASA Earth Observatory)

Fires in Colorado. (NASA Earth Observatory)

High Park fire, Colorado. (NASA Earth Observatory)

This is an image of the aerosols emitted by the forest fires.  The aerosols can be detected by remote sensing as they scatter UV light back into space that is received by the satellite(s).

Aerosols emitted by forest fires in US. (NASA Earth Observatory)

Finally, a highly informative presentation given by Dr Bruce D. Malamud on the spread of forest fires in the US that was given at IHRR.