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The Alaska fire season -- before and after

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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IMAGE: The first image was taken by the Terra satellite with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). view more

Credit: NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption: NASA/Goddard, Lynn Jenner

The 2015 Alaska fire season has been particularly brutal this year. The fire season reached another milestone on Aug. 7 by surpassing the 5-million- mark in the number of acres burned so far this season. According to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center's (AICC) daily situation report on Aug. 7, a total of 743 fires have burned 5,013,053.4 acres to date. That total ranks the 2015 fire season No. 3 on the list of the largest fire seasons on record. As of today, 768 fires have ravaged the state and 153 fires are currently active there. AICC notes as of August 13 that Alaska is moving into its annual seasonal rain pattern which should help to diminish fire activity across the state.

These two images taken two months apart show in false-color the differences between the Alaskan landscape between June 14 and September 1, 2015. The darkened red areas show burn scars across the state. The first image was taken by the Terra satellite with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The second image was taken by the same instrument but on the Aqua satellite.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption: NASA/Goddard, Lynn Jenner

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