Image: Fires in southeast United States both wild and prescribed
Fires both wild and prescribed dot the landscape of the southeastern portion of the United States. Wildfires are those that occur naturally with lightning strikes or are set by careless humans. Prescribed fires are those deliberately set by land management authorities to take out underlying brush and dead grass so that in the event of a wildfire there is not sufficient fuel for that fire to spread too far. The Southern Area Coordination Center for fire management has this information on its report for February 21, 2017.
- Fires that have broken out recently (known as Initial Attack Activity): 198 fires for 2,292 acres
- Ongoing Uncontained Large Fires: 3 fires for 5,947 acres
- Other Fires reported through alternate channels: 56 fires for 1,400 acres
- Prescribed Fire Activity: State and/or Federal Lands – 1,974 prescribed fires for 38,533 acres in AL, FL & GA
The bulk of the fires seen in the image taken by the Aqua satellite using the onboard MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument on February 16, 2017 appear to be prescribed fires. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS's thermal bands, are outlined in red and when combined with smoke are indicative of fire. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Lynn Jenner with information from the Southern Area Coordination Center.