Fires Burn Northern Mexico

A severe drought that affected Texas in 2011 also produced wildfires south of the border in Mexico. On March 16, 2011, lightning started two large fires in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila. These fires were so close to Texas that the United States provided assistance in suppressing them. The northwestern portion of the scene is in Texas, and the rest is Coahuila.

This striking landscape is largely rangeland and open scrubland. To the spacecraft, the burned vegetation takes on a reddish color, as seen in the April 25, 2011, image. The more rugged eastern portion of the image is the northern portion of the Sierra Madre Oriental.

Landsat data are often used to determine the extent and severity of widespread fires, saving response teams many hours of on-the-ground surveys and estimates from the air.

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Friday, May 6, 2011