Strong Winds Fan Flames in Lake Tahoe Fire

Strong Winds Fan Flames in Lake Tahoe Fire
Credit: NASA’s MODIS Rapid Response

A fire raging out of control just southwest of Lake Tahoe is threatening homes and has burned close to 3,100 acres since it was first reported on Sunday, June 24, 2007, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite shows the Angora Fire on June 26, 2007. The active fire area is outlined in red.

According to news reports, the Angora Lakes Resort and hundreds of homes in the towns of Meyers and South Lake Tahoe, CA, have been evacuated. The fire has already destroyed over 275 homes and other structures and at least 1,000 remain in its path. Two injuries have been attributed to the blaze.

High winds have been detrimental to efforts to control the blaze. When the fire first broke out on June 24, wind gusts of up to 30 mph helped spread the fire from 700 acres to 2,000 in the space of three hours.

Then on June 26, just after firefighters had begun to tame the blaze, gusting winds caused it to jump across a fire line and threaten additional buildings, according to fire officials. The National Weather Service is predicting more wind for the next few days, with gusts as high as 35 miles per hour.

As of June 27, 2007, 44 percent of the fire had been contained. Fire officials hope for full containment by Sunday, July 1. Forest Service officials believe the blaze was ignited by human activity, but are not sure if it was set intentionally.

Source: Goddard Space Flight Center, by Laura Spector


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