Smoke from the California
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Smoke from the California

October 18, 2004
Eighteen miles south of Williams, California, the Rumsey Fire has burned through 3,800 acres of the Eldorado National Forest, as shown in this true-color Terra MODIS image from October 12, 2004. Fire management teams are struggling to suppress the fire because of poor accessibility and strong winds; both of these factors have allowed the fire to grow significantly. The fire, which the central cluster of bright red dots in this image, is spewing large clouds of grey-blue smoke that drifts off to the south and west over the Pacific Ocean. Other scattered dots are smaller, unnamed fires, some of which add smaller streams of smoke to the atmosphere. Over the course of the past year, fire agencies in the United States have contained 474 large fires out of over 62,000 fires, all of which consumed 7,784,277 acres. 2004 has been the worst year for wildfires in recent memory, exceeding even 2002 and 2000, which had burned between 700,000 to 1,000,000 fewer acres in the same period. More

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