NASA image: Trio of fires in Northern California

August 15, 2013 by Lynn Jenner
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz

A trio of fires continues to plague Northern California. In this MODIS image from the Terra satellite, all three fires can be detected.

The Corral Complex fire was started by lightning on August 10, 2013. It is located in the Trinity Alps Wilderness and is burning within the 1999 Megram Fire area. The fire is now approximately 2,500 acres. Growth potential for this fire is high and the terrain the fire is located in is extreme.

The Orleans Complex fire started on July 29th, 2013 and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The fire was moderated by good humidity recovery, although active fire was observed along the southern edge. Crews worked successfully last night to keep the fire around Butler Flat contained. Structure protection continues to be the priority in and around Forks of Salmon as the fire backs down the McNeal Creek drainage. Point protection strategies also incorporate the structures around Knownothing Creek and on the northeast side of the Salmon River. The fire continues to advance toward the west, and firefighters may begin ignitions there today to strengthen those containment lines. The growth potential and the terrain for this fire group is extreme. The fire has already burned over 13,500 acres.

The Salmon River Complex began on July 31, 2013. The cause was determined to be human in nature. Over 12,000 acres have burned to date. observed included creeping and smoldering in heavy dead and down fuels. Rolling material was a concern for firefighters as they patrolled and held the fire within existing containment lines. The fire is anticipated to grow on the west side westerly towards China Gulch. Due to firing operations, growth will continue from Yellow Jacket Ridge south to Murderers Gulch. Growth on the east side of the fire will be southwesterly towards the mouth of Jackass Gulch and Sawyers Bar Road. The crew working on this complex is anticipating a date of August 18, however growth potential for this is high and the terrain is classified as extreme.

This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite on August 14, 2013. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS's thermal bands, are outlined in red.

Explore further: Tres Lagunas and Thompson Ridge fires in New Mexico

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