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Fire danger extreme in British Columbia, Canada

n parts of British Columbia, Canada, the Canadian Wildfire Information System's (CWIS) interactive map shows extreme wildfire danger. The area targeted on the map is the area where these wildfires are showing up on this Aqua satellite image from August 12, 2014. The priority fires this week are all within British Columbia and have affected over 142,000 hectares (almost 351,000 acres).

According to the CWIS's report for this week: "There have been 637 new fires in the past week. The difference in the area burned in the past week is difficult to gauge, as the Northwest Territories has recently supplied an updated area burned figure. This update now indicates the national area burned is about 3.5 million hectares, almost twice the normal amount for this time of year, although the number of fires is about 75% of the 10-year average. The activity continues to be mainly in western and northern Canada. The majority of this week's fires occurred in British Columbia, Alberta, Northwest Territories, and Saskatchewan (41%, 25%, 10% and 9% respectively). Although 94% of the area burned this week apparently was in the Northwest Territories, this fraction should be treated with caution due to the recent update of the Northwest Territories data. Fire danger is generally high to extreme in British Columbia, the northern Great Slave Lake area, and the Peace River/Grande Prairie areas in Alberta."

This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS's thermal bands, are outlined in red. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team.


Contact: Rob Gutro
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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