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From: Dan Richter (1:317/3)
To: All
Date: Sun, 25.10.20 12:00
MODIS Pic of the Day 25 October 2020
October 25, 2020 - East Troublesome Fire


East Troublesome Fire

The East Troublesome Fire burst into the record books on October 22,
2020 as it grew sixfold in size in just a day to seize the title of the
second-largest fire in Colorado History. The expanding blaze jumped the
Continental Divide as it ran from Grand County into Rocky Mountain
National Park, destroying structures and forcing evacuations as it

The fire sparked to life on the evening of October 14 north of Hot
Sulfur Springs, Colorado. It is burning in grass, sage, and lodgepole
pine that has been parched due to a state-wide drought. Many areas of
pine have been previously killed by infestation of Mountain pine
beetles, an insect native to Western pine forests that feed by boring
into trees, causing rust-colored needles, needle-drop, and death of the
tree. The standing trees and deadfall become excellent fuel to feed

The East Troublesome Fire had grown slowly at first, staying under
20,000 acres until the evening of October 21, when high winds began to
blow. Extreme winds of up to 70 mph (122 km/h) fed explosive and
dangerous growth. As of 9:52 a.m. on October 24, the fire had consumed
188,389 acres, according to Inciweb Incident Information System.
Unofficial estimates reported by local media suggest that the fire
closed the day at about 191,000 acres and has closely approached the
town of Estes Park. The blaze is only 4 percent contained.

While winds continued to howl through Saturday, October 24, the
forecast for Sunday, October 25 highlights snow. Snowfall is expected
to begin around 11:00 p.m. on Saturday with estimates between 4 and 6
inches (10-15 cm) of snow within 24 hours. A Winter Storm Warning will
be in effect beginning at midnight on Saturday. Snowy weather brings
the hope of reduced wind and reduced fire spread.

On October 22, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
(MODIS) on board NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired a stunning false-color
image of the East Troublesome Fire. This type of image uses infrared
and visible light (MODIS bands 7,2,1) to help separate burn scars from
vegetation. In this combination, vegetation is bright green, open land
appears tan, cloud appears white tinted with light blue. Fresh burn
scars, left behind as fire chars the vegetation, appear brick red and

Copious smoke pours from the East Troublesome Fire, appearing red near
the burn scar, and electric blue as it rises and cools. High in the
atmosphere, dark tan ash from the fire colors the plume and appears to
mix with cloud. Several burn scars from additional fires can be seen in
the vegetation near the East Troublesome Fire.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 10/22/2020
Resolutions: 1km (132.5 KB), 500m (132.5 KB), 250m (401 KB)
Bands Used: 7,2,1
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

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