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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:29 PM
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Large Fires in Northern Mexico


NASA image acquired April 9, 2011

This image, taken by the Landsat-5 satellite on April 9, 2011, illustrate the challenges facing firefighters combating two large wildfires in northern Mexicos Coahuila state. The fires are burning on steep mountain slopes that are difficult to impossible for ground crews to reach. The image shows dense plumes of smoke blowing northeast on strong winds.

The fires, called El Bonito and La Sabina, were caused by lightning strikes in mid-March and had burned 99,000 hectares (245,000 acres or 380 square miles) as of April 11. The fires are among the largest in Mexicos history, according to news reports.

The fires are burning mostly grass and shrub land, ecosystems that are adapted to fire, says the Comisin Nacional Forestal (CONAFOR, Mexicos National Forest Service). Lack of winter rain and frost left the plants dry and prone to fire. On top of that, the area has not burned for more than 20 years, during which time fuel built up. Thunderstorms and steady strong winds with gusts up to 70 miles per hour completed the formula for a dangerous, fast-moving wildfire.

NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using Landsat 5 data provided by the United States Geological Survey. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

Instrument: Landsat 5 - TM

To download the full high res file to go: earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=50087

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASAs mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASAs accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agencys mission.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/5619120519/
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 07:06 PM
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1. I guess I've never seen a photo of northern Mexico
Whats the deal with all the craters? Is it because they are closer to the equator or is that pretty much what this country looks like from a satellite too?
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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 07:16 PM
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2. I can't really answer those questions.
Craters could be from volcanoes or meteor impacts or ??
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I'm thinking it must be from meteor impacts but thats just my okie thinking :-)
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 07:49 PM
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4. I'm not sure I see what you are seeing as craters.
This is very dry country, and so landforms are actually quite visible. I believe some of the mountains here are volcanic, and that might be some of what you're seeing.


Oh, and I live in Northern New Mexico (Santa Fe), moved here three years ago. This is the first place I've lived in that actually has a fire season. And this year's is expected to be particularly bad because we're in drought conditions. Often I can see the smoke from several fires at any given time. Two weeks ago I drove to the Trinity Site, where the first atom bomb was exploded, south of Albuquerque, and saw several fires along the way.

Today it is exceptionally windy, which also isn't good as it will speed fires along.
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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Hopefully your fire season will not be too bad.
Thankfully, we have had a couple years of rain after several years of annual fires that were huge (on the central coast of CA).
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