Wildfires in Oregon, USA
Dry conditions have made this year another busy one for wildfires in the western United States. For example, responders in east-central Oregon are currently fighting several separate fires that were started by lightning near Malheur Lake on July 14, 2014. The combination of high winds, low humidity, and high temperatures has been making the firefighting work difficult.
These Landsat images were acquired on July 1, 2014 (left), and again on July 17, 2014. Malheur Lake is in the center of both images. The large fire scars visible in the second image show the area burned within the Buzzard Complex as of July 17. The bright orange areas also show where the fires were continuing to burn at the time the second image was collected.
Landsat imagery can be an important tool to help evaluate the areas damaged and destroyed by fire, and can assist in response planning and identifying areas of further risk. Future images from Landsat will also be helpful for monitoring the land recovery after major fires such as this.