Wallow Fire, Arizona

Wallow Fire, Arizona

This image and accompanying animation from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on the Terra spacecraft show the Wallow Fire currently burning in Arizona. The data were acquired mid-morning (local time) on June 7, 2011.

As of June 8, the large Wallow fire in the White Mountains has burned more than 389,000 acres (more than 608 square miles, or 1,574 square kilometers) and is currently the second largest fire in Arizona history. More than 2,000 people are working to contain the fire, which is being driven by high winds and low humidity.

The Wallow Fire is in the center of the MISR image. Nearly 10 distinct bluish-colored smoke plumes can be seen blowing toward the upper right (northeast). The green pine forests of the White Mountains stand out against the lighter desert background. In this image, the windblown smoke is seen extending into New Mexico; smoke from this fire has been carried over the Great Plains as far as Iowa.

The animation shows sequential views from MISR’s nine cameras, which observe the scene over a period of seven minutes from different view angles. Smoke can be seen rising from local hot spots due to the time lapse between the different images. The images at the beginning and end of the sequence are from MISR’s more oblique cameras and observe a longer path through the atmosphere, making the smoke appear thicker and easier to resolve against the bright desert background. The areas with no data (shown in black and present at the oblique angles) are locations where the variable terrain has obscured lower elevation ground.

NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided by the NASA/GSFC/JPL, MISR Team. Caption adapted from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Photojournal.