Florida's County Line Fire
The County Line Fire continues to generate a thick pall of smoke along the northern Florida/Georgia border as more than 100 firefighters combat the fire. NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of the thick smoke from its orbit in space.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies onboard NASA'sTerra satellite captured an image of fires and smoke from the County Line Fire in northern Florida on April 10 at 16:05 UTC (2:05 p.m. EDT). The fires appear as red squares and smoke from the fires appears a light brown color. Other small plumes of smoke can be seen from smaller fires burning in South Carolina.
The fire is located in the Pinhook Swamp, which extends into both Baker and Columbia counties of northern Florida. Pinhook Swamp consists of pine flatwoods and swamps and are located between the Osceola National Forest and the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
The National Weather Service in Jacksonville, Fla. stated in their Hazardous Weather Outlook on April 11, 2012 at 3:40 a.m. EDT, "Smoke from the large county line wildfire in northern Columbia and Baker counties will impact portions of northeast Florida this morning. Winds will become northwest early this morning in wake of a cold front. The smoke plume is expected to drift southeast today. Winds will increase by late morning and this will cause more dispersion of the smoke...thus visibilities should improve today away from the immediate wildfire site."
Iniciweb reported on April 11, 2012 that the fire, started by a lightning strike on April 5, has now consumed more than 25,000 acres. Inciweb is the "Incident Information System" website that reports wildfire conditions throughout the country. According to Inciweb, firefighting efforts include plans to complete strategic burns on the east and southeast flanks of the fire in anticipation of the coming wind shifts. About 140 firefighters are combating this fire. For a map of current fires burning in Florida, visit: http://www.floridaforestservice.com/wildfire/wf_info_docs/maps/ActiveWildfiresMap.pdf.
For a MODIS image without labels, visit: http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/imagery/single.cgi?image=Florida.A2012101.1605.1km.jpg.
Image: NASA Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Text: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Rob Gutro