Thursday, October 6, 2005

Fire! (cont'd)

Yesterday I wrote about a fire that started south of us, near Tecate. We were concerned at the time because of the prediction of Santa Ana winds, which could conceivably blow the fire our way.

On the map at right you can see where our home is (in the gren circle) and you can see where the fire is (the red and orange shapes). Where the fire burned yesterday or earlier, and is no longer burning, is shown in the black shaded areas. The photo is oriented normally (e.g., North is straight up), so you can see that the fire is burning toward the west, and not toward us. As I write these words, the winds at our house are from the northwest at 4 MPH, gusting to 10 MPH — almost the exact opposite of a Santa Ana, and exactly what we need to push that fire away from us. At the risk of jinxing us, I'll call that good news.

On the other hand, it's 90 degrees (F) and 3% relative humidity. It wouldn't take much for our part of the world to burn...

If you're curious about how I got this nice came from a website that is a cooperative project of NASA and the CDF, providing an online tool to create maps of past and current fires using all sorts of data, including the WF-HMS and MODIS satellite data used to generate the map you're looking at. The satellite data is updated four times a day; each of those circles represents a 1 km diameter "pixel" of thermal image data.

As usual, click on the photo for a larger view...

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