Fires Across the Western US
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Fires Across the Western U.S.

July 19, 2007

Days of record heat made the western United States tinder dry in early July 2007. Numerous wildfires raced across the dry terrain during the weekend of July 7.

From Washington to Arizona, firefighters were battling fast-moving wildfires that threatened residences, businesses, gas wells, coal mines, communications equipment, and municipal watersheds.

This image of the West was captured by the MODIS on NASA's Aqua satellite on July 7, 2007. Places where MODIS detected actively burning fires are marked in red.

Some of the largest fires in the west include the Milford Flat Fire in Utah, the Black Pine 2 Fire in Idaho, (both not shown on this image)and the Egley Complex Fire in Oregon.

The fires have destroyed homes, forced evacuations, shut down trains and highways, and killed several people. Weather conditions were not expected to improve significantly across much of the area for several days, with hot temperatures and dry thunderstorms (lightning and winds, but little rain) likely in many places.

Nearly the entire western United States was experiencing some level of drought as of July 3, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The drought had reached the "extreme" category in southern California and western Arizona, and ranged from moderate to severe across most of the rest of the Southwest and Great Basin.

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