Landsat satellite data are proving useful for monitoring and measuring the effects of wildfires across the western United States in 2012. Images acquired before, during, and after fires give state and regional authorities objective scientific data on the rate of burning, the land cover affected, and extent of the damage inflicted.
In late July, a large fire developed in the Creek County area in northeastern Oklahoma. Within days, over 91 square miles were burned and a number of residents in Mannford and Kellyville were evacuated. Some homes were destroyed, though no serious injuries were reported. The brown tones in the August 4 image represent vegetation destroyed by the fire.
Firefighters labeled this fire a “Monster” fire as it grew rapidly. The week of August 1, over 18 fires were burning in Oklahoma, stretching firefighting resources. By the end of the week, cooler temperatures and light rain aided the firefighters as they worked to contain the damage and spread of the burns.