On the afternoon of June 13, 2020, a lorry fire near the crossway of Bush Highway and State Route 87 sparked the brush and turf close by. By June 16, almost 65,000 acres (100 square miles or 260 square kilometers) northeast of Phoenix, Arizona, had actually burned, making the Bush Fire the biggest in the state this year and the biggest in the United States today.
According to firefighting and forest management companies in the area, the fire was burning through high turf and brush around the Tonto National Forest. As of midday on June 16, more than 400 firemens were fighting the flames with helicopters, fire truck, bulldozers, and aircrafts. The fire was totally uncontained amidst hot, dry, and windy conditions. More than 1,500 individuals had actually been left from the Tonto Basin and Sunflower neighborhoods.
The satellite images above reveal the Bush Fire burn scar and some active fire fronts as they appeared on June 14, 2020. The images were obtained by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8. The images mix natural-color (OLI bands 4-3-2) with the thermal infrared signature of actively burning fires (bands 6 and 5). This mix makes it simpler to see still-active fire lines through the smoke. Scientists from the University of Wisconsin assembled this brief animation of the fire dispersing during the night as observed by the NOAA-NASA Suomi NPP satellite.
The red lines throughout the comprehensive image above are fire retardant that was dropped to keep the fire from advancing towards settled locations. This video reveals among the air-borne retardant drops, while this closeup presentation reveals the effect and spread of the fluid slurry as it reaches the ground.
Across the state, the Bighorn Fire has actually burned almost 16,000 acres in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson; it was 30 percent included since June 16. Near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Magnum Fire charred more than 30,000 acres in Kaibab National Forest; it was 3 percent included.
Fire season normally peaks in the U.S. Southwest in June and July. In a seasonal projection released on June 1, the National Interagency Fire Center anticipated “above normal significant large fire potential” in the area, particularly Arizona. Temperatures have actually been 1 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit above typical for much of the previous 2 months, and rains has actually been listed below typical.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, utilizing Landsat information from the U.S. Geological Survey.