NASA Photos: Raging Arizona Wildfires Seen From Space

Smoke from the Wallow North Fire, Arizona


Plumes of smoke cover parts of eastern Arizona, as the Wallow North fire continues to grow. It has expanded by more than 100,000 acres over the last few days and the Horseshoe Two fire also by a couple thousand of acres, according to Inciweb.

Clouds of smoke can be seen in this image from the larger Wallow North fire. Compared to previous images captured this week by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument, the smoke from the Wallow North fire has visibly increased.

More than 3,000 people have evacuated the areas nearby because of the increasing intensity of the fires, Reuters reported. On June 7 the Examiner reported 2,315 firefighting personnel from across the nation were on the scene including 31 hotshot crews and 25 handcrews. The massive Wallow North fire is moving north and northeast on its eighth day close to the communities of Eagar and Springerville, reported Wildfire Today on June 8.

Wallow North and Horseshoe Two Fires


Dry weather conditions continue to fuel the two untamed wildfires. Despite efforts the Wallow North fire has not been contained and the Horseshoe Two fire has been merely 55 percent contained. The Wallow fire spans 233,522 acres, while the much smaller Horseshoe Two fire is sized at 104,285 acres, according to Inciweb.

This image depicts a streaming cloud of smoke from the Wallow North fire and a much less visible smoke trail from the Horseeshoe Two fire.

The National Interagency Fire Center reports critical fire weather conditions associated with strong winds of 20 to 40 mph and low relative humidity below 15 percent will continue over eastern Arizona, New Mexico, southeastern Colorado, and West Texas. Many residences and communities have been evacuated.

2 Big Arizona Fires, The Horseshoe 2 and Wallow North Fires


Two large fires are raging in eastern Arizona, each over 100,000 acres. The Wallow North fire is burning in east-central Arizona and the Horseshoe 2 fire is in southeastern Arizona. Both were generating a lot of smoke that was captured in an image from NASA's Aqua satellite on June 3, 2011.

The Horseshoe 2 fire, located in the lower part of this image, has been burning since May 8 near Portal, Arizona and according to Inciweb, has burned 100,075 acres. It is currently 55 percent contained, and is estimated for containment by June 22. Inciweb reported that 38 engines and as many as 1,000 personnel are involved in fighting this fire. There were 7 injuries, and so far the cost is $27,866. The cause of the fire has been attributed to people.

The National Park Service has closed Chiricahua National Monument due to potential threat of the Horseshoe 2 fire. For more information, visit the park's website.

The Wallow North Fire is located north of the Horseshoe 2 fire. The fire is located in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in east-central Arizona, close to the New Mexico border. The wildfire has already affected 192,746 acres and the Apache National Forest is closed to all public entry, per the U.S. Forest Service. Inciweb noted that there are 2,315 personnel involved in managing this wildfire.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: Staff
News and editorial team is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.