Northern Florida's County Line Fire Consumed Almost 35,000 Acres
NASA satellites have been monitoring the smoke plume from northern Florida's largest fire this week. According to Florida's Forest Service, 34,936 acres have burned in northern Florida's County Line Fire as of April 13, 2012.
The County Line Fire continues to burn in the Pinhook Swamp, located in northern Florida's Baker and Columbia counties. Pinhook Swamp consists of pine flatwoods and swamps. The swamp is located between the Osceola National Forest and the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. According to the U.S. Forest Service, the wildfire is located inside a southern swamp with very dense vegetation, terrain that makes firefighting difficult.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies onboard NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of fires and smoke from the County Line Fire in northern Florida on April 12 at 15:50 UTC (11:50 a.m. EDT) when the wind was blowing from the northeast, pushing the thick stream of smoke to the southwest. The fire appears as a red square and smoke from the fires appears a light brown color.
On April 13, the National Weather Service forecast office in Jacksonville, Fla. noted that winds had become more easterly, and areas of smoke can be expected west of the fire. White Springs, Fla. is one of the areas affected and has "areas of smoke" in their forecast for Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14.
The U.S. Forest Service noted on April 13, "Minimal movement is expected. Column growth has helped pull flames from strategic burning operations into the center of the fire. Some movement to the southwest is expected over the next 24 hours." Inciweb is the "Incident Information System" website that reports wildfire conditions throughout the country. Inciweb reports that 410 people are now involved in firefighting efforts. For updates on Inciweb: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2813/.
Image: NASA Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Text: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Rob Gutro