7 Western Wildfires Showed Up in One Satellite Image Monday

Jonathan Belles
Published: June 12, 2018

Satellite imagery from GOES-East showed smoke from at least seven fires, including Colorado's 416 Fire, darkening skies across five states on Monday.

Four major fires and three minor fires were clearly seen on satellite Monday afternoon in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah and Oklahoma.

(MORE: Current Fire News)

The most threatening fire, the so-called 416 Fire near Durango, Colorado, has consumed more than 35 square miles of land area through Tuesday afternoon. Residents of more than 2,000 homes have been forced to evacuate. 

Another large fire, the Badger Creek Fire in Wyoming rapidly grew in size. 

Upper-level winds blew smoke more than 200 miles east of each fire by late Monday. Smoke, especially from the fires in Colorado and Utah, has lowered air quality in the region. 

(MORE: This is How Often the Hottest Temperature of the Year Occurs in June)

Dry conditions allowed seven fires to burn in five states on Monday.

Smoke also got pulled into the backside storm system over the Plains as seen by the milky colors stretching from the Texas panhandle northeastward into southeastern Nebraska. 

You'll notice the smoke from the Porter Fire in the far western panhandle of Oklahoma was traveling westward while the rest of the smoke was moving eastward. 

The air just above the surface there was entangled in a weak cold front that was draped across the panhandles. 

Conditions that helped spread fires and their smoke across the Southwest on Jun. 11.

(FORECAST: Hurricane Bud Could Bring Drought-Denting Rainfall to the Southwest)

Much of the Southwest remains in extreme drought following weeks to months without measurable rainfall. Some much-needed moisture could be on its way by the end of this week. 

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.