Orbital View Of Fires In Yosemite

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
July 26, 2022
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Orbital View Of Fires In Yosemite
Yosemite Fire

For the second time in a month, wildland fires are burning through parched forests near Yosemite National Park. The fast-moving Oak fire in Mariposa County, west of the park, has forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes. The smaller Washburn fire, now mostly contained by firefighters, burned earlier this month in Madera County, along the southern edge of the park. Both have moved through drought-parched forests that are stressed and vulnerable due to climate change.

On July 24, 2022, the Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9 acquired an image of the Oak fire (above) and the brown, drought-parched landscape. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 90 percent of Mariposa and Madera counties currently face “exceptional” drought, the most severe category on the scale.

Notice the red lines of flame retardant along the eastern flank of the fire. Aircraft including a DC-10, BAe-146, and an S-2T have been observed dropping retardant in the area. Seventeen helicopters are also fighting the fire, along with thousands of firefighters on the ground, according to Cal Fire.

More imagery and information

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