Aug 09

NASA Image Shows Intense Wildfires in Oregon, Northern California

NASA Wildfire Image

 NASA scientists captured a stunning image this week of severe wildfires tearing through Oregon and Northern California. Large columns of smoke are clearly visible in the satellite image, which was taken on August 5, 2013. From NASA:

On August 5, 2013, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on Aqua captured the image, which shows smoke rising from the Douglas Complex fire and the Big Windy Complex fire in southern Oregon. To the south, the Salmon River Complex fire and Orleans Complex fire burned in northern California. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fire. Read more.

The affected areas have experienced an extremely dry 2013. The latest US Drought Monitor lists most of Oregon and virtually all of California in moderate to extreme drought conditions:

Screen shot 2013-08-09 at 2.36.28 PM
Despite another abnormally dry year across the Western US, fewer acres have burned in 2013 than in a normal wildfire season. According to the NASA article, 2.5 million acres have burned across the United States through the first week of August. That number is closer to 4.5 million acres in a normal year.

Once the fires have subsided, the difficult process of restoring rangeland will begin. The task of restoring vegetation in post-wildfire locations is often complicated by high rates of soil water repellency. Seedling eastablishment of native species has a failure rate near 90% in many cases.

In recent years, Aquatrols has been working with scientists from the Agricultural Research Service to develop a surfactant seed coating technology that may dramatically improve the success of seedling establishment in these affect areas.

Early findings show that seed coating technology has the potential to dramatically reduce the cost, time, and amount of seed needed for re-vegetation in the agricultural, horticultural, and turfgrass industries. Stay tuned for more information.


About The Author

More than 60 years ago, Aquatrols introduced the world’s first commercially available soil wetting agent. Since creating an entirely new product category to address water management challenges and opportunities, the company has remained a top innovator and producer of high-performance soil surfactants and related technologies. Aquatrols’ advanced product suite optimizes soil-water-plant interactions in agricultural, professional turfgrass, and horticultural industries in more than 40 countries. Headquartered in southern New Jersey, Aquatrols also has offices in the United Kingdom and conducts business on six continents.