Wildfires in Alberta, Canada

Landsat satellite data are being used to monitor a series of large fires in northeastern Alberta, Canada.

The Richardson backcounty fires started in mid-May, 2011. Within days they combined to create the largest wildfire in Alberta since 1919, a fire still not under control. Over 700 fire fighters are working to control the fire, which have burned over 1,400,000 acres. Fire fighters are currently focusing on the southern fire areas near Fort McMurray and the oilsands mines (the mines show in light tones in the lower central portion of the imagery.)

The fires represent the effects of significantly dry weather in 2011. On average, Alberta has 700 wildfires per year; this year, 565 fires have already destroyed 2,000,000 acres of brush land and forest.

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Friday, June 17, 2011