Spacecraft sees wind-whipped fires in East Texas

Sep 08, 2011 By Alan Buis
NASA's MISR instrument on its Terra spacecraft captured this image of wildfires burning throughout eastern Texas on Sept. 5, 2011. Credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team

(PhysOrg.com) -- As most of Texas continues to experience the worst one-year drought on record, more than 170 wildfires have erupted across the Lone Star State so far this month alone. The Texas Forest Service reports the past week's blazes have charred more than 135,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 homes.

Strong, gusty winds on the western side of Tropical Storm Lee, which passed over Louisiana on Monday, Sept. 5, 2011, stoked the fires burning throughout eastern Texas. The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA's passed over the at 12:05 p.m. CDT on Sept. 5. At that time, temperatures were around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius), with winds from the north gusting to 25 mph (40 kilometers per hour).

This image is a blend of data from MISR's vertical-viewing camera, which provides the sharpest view of surface features, and data acquired at a view angle of 70 degrees, which accentuates the appearance of smoke plumes generated by the fires. The Bear Creek Fire north of Marshall, near the top center of the image, is the largest fire in the image. When this image was acquired, the fire had charred 30,000 acres and was 0 percent contained. To the west is the Diana Fire, just north of Longview, and the Henderson-502 Fire, northwest of Nacogdoches.

The combined smoke from these two fires extends more than 171 miles (275 kilometers), passing over Lake Livingston into the northern outskirts of Houston. The city of Houston appears as the grayish area at the bottom of the image, to the left of and the .

This image covers about 275 miles (442 kilometers) in the north-south direction, and 199 miles (320 kilometers) in the east-west direction.

Explore further: NASA sees Typhoon Matmo making second landfall in China

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Smoke From Station Fire Blankets Southern California

Sep 01, 2009

Triple-digit temperatures, extremely low relative humidities, dense vegetation that has not burned in decades, and years of extended drought are all contributing to the explosive growth of wildfires throughout ...

NASA images tsunami's effects on Northeastern Japan

Mar 14, 2011

The extent of inundation from the destructive and deadly tsunami triggered by the March 11, 2011, magnitude 8.9 earthquake centered off Japan's northeastern coast about 130 kilometers (82 miles) east of the ...

Fires and Smoke in Russia

Aug 05, 2010

Intense fires continued to rage in western Russia on August 4, 2010. Burning in dry peat bogs and forests, the fires produced a dense plume of smoke that reached across hundreds of kilometers. The Moderate ...

Image: Smoke over Western Russia

Aug 03, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Hundreds of fires burned across western Russia on August 2, 2010, but it is the smoke that conveys the magnitude of the disaster in this true-color image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging ...

NASA's MISR Provides Unique Views of Gulf Oil Slick

May 21, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- New Gulf oil spill images from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft paint dramatic portraits of different aspects of the growing spill.

Space Image: Ghostly Encounter

Jun 29, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The surface of Saturn's moon Dione is rendered in crisp detail against a hazy, ghostly Titan. Visible in this image are hints of atmospheric banding around Titan's north pole.

Recommended for you

Fires in Central Africa During July 2014

6 hours ago

Hundreds of fires covered central Africa in mid-July 2014, as the annual fire season continues across the region. Multiple red hotspots, which indicate areas of increased temperatures, are heavily sprinkled ...

NASA's HS3 mission spotlight: The HIRAD instrument

16 hours ago

The Hurricane Imaging Radiometer, known as HIRAD, will fly aboard one of two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft during NASA's Hurricane Severe Storm Sentinel or HS3 mission from Wallops beginning August 26 through ...

Fires in the Northern Territories July 2014

Jul 23, 2014

Environment Canada has issued a high health risk warning for Yellowknife and surrounding area because of heavy smoke in the region due to forest fires. In the image taken by the Aqua satellite, the smoke ...

User comments : 0