05 Jun '12, 5am

Latest image of the record-breaking fires in southwest New Mexico, from our Aqua satellite.

Latest image of the record-breaking fires in southwest New Mexico, from our Aqua satellite.

By June 4, 2012, the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire in southwestern New Mexico had burned 241,701 acres (978 square kilometers) of Gila National Forest. For comparison, all five boroughs of New York City cover 755 square kilometers. The blaze was 18 percent contained on June 4. Firefighters expected that the fire, already the largest on record in New Mexico, would continue burning for many days. The Baldy fire began on May 9 due to a lighting strike. About 10 miles to the northwest, lightning started the Whitewater fire on May 16. The two fires burned separately for a week, but they merged on May 23. After that, the combined fire burned in fits and starts. Strong winds caused the fire to spread rapidly on May 23, a day the fire expanded by 48,911 acres. The blaze tore through thick coniferous forests that day, sending thick plumes of smoke aloft. The Moderate Resolution Ima...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?...

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Fire in New Mexico [image] #NASA

Fire in New Mexico [image] #NASA

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