Earth from Orbit: Wildfire Smoke Blankets U.S.


Wildfire activity amid extreme heat and drought has resulted in smoke blanketing much of the United States and Canada.

As of July 14, 2021, 68 active large fires in 12 states have burned more than one million acres of land in the U.S. To date in 2021, more than 34,000 fires have burned more than two million acres. This is the most fires in the January to July time period since 2011. July is relatively early to see wildfire activity of this magnitude.

NOAA satellites are monitoring the fires, their smoke output, and air quality effects from the smoke. The fires are injecting smoke 40,000 feet into the atmosphere and compromising air quality.

The Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon is currently the nation’s largest active fire. This large, rapidly growing fire began on July 6 and had burned 212,377 acres as of July 14. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory for south-central and northeastern Oregon through July 16. InciWeb warned that the fire will continue to be extremely active, fueled by extreme drought conditions, low humidity, and high temperatures.

Continue reading at National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS)

Image via NESDIS