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Burn Scars in Arizona
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Burn Scars in Arizona

July 18, 2005
In the mountains north of Phoenix, Arizona, the Cave Creek Fire has been contained at 248,310 acres and a cost of $18.3 million. The fire was caused by lightning strikes in the late afternoon of June 21, 2005, and was difficult to control because of extremely dry conditions and difficulty reaching all areas. In this false-color image from the Terra MODIS instrument acquired on July 11, 2005, the burn scar is highlighted in a deep red color that sprawls across the green vegetation of the Tonto National Forest. The burned area appears to cover almost as much area as the city of Phoenix, near the bottom center of the image. Tonto National Forest is the largest of Arizona's national forests at over 12,000 square kilometers (2,969,602 acres), and one of its most visited. As growing seasons come and go, the burn scar will fade over time, until new growth makes the scar invisible to MODIS as well as the naked eye. The length of this process depends on a number of factors, including scar size, vegetation type, and growth rates.


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