Alaska Wildfires 2019

Start Date

July 18, 2019

Overview

The state of Alaska has experienced multiple wildfires in the summer of 2019, with the most wildfires and the largest acreage burned in the U.S. this season to date. The majority of these blazes are caused by lightning strikes according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center as of July 15, 2019.  But coming a very close second are fires caused by humans. The fires are exhibiting active fire behavior with wind-driven runs, flanking and backing. Numerous structures are threatened. 

The NASA Disasters Program is working with the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center to provide satellite data products in support of the fires.  

Active wildfires in Alaska on July 14th, 2019 detected by the MODIS instrument onboard NASA's Aqua satellite. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

Active wildfires in Alaska on July 14th, 2019 detected by the MODIS instrument onboard NASA's Aqua satellite. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

Disaster Types

Latest Updates

July 26, 2019
These highlights from the MISR Active Aerosol Plume-Height (AAP) Project  show smoke heights from the Bearnose Hill and Shovel Creek fires in Alaska on July 6th, 2019.
These images compiled by NASA’s Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) Active Aerosol Plume-Height Project illustrate smoke heights from the Bearnose Hill and Shovel Creek fires in Alaska on July 6. MISR’s stereo texture and color images enable accurate mapping of wildfire smoke-plume heights, distinguishing smoke plumes from clouds based on detected particle properties. On July 6 and 8, MISR observed multiple fire plumes emanating from a wildfire outbreak across Alaska. Imagery from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on July 6 shows dense smoke from the...
July 25, 2019
Screenshot of the IMERG Alaska wildfires visualization.
NASA’s satellite-based estimates of global precipitation can provide valuable information to officials monitoring the many wildfires that have been scorching Alaska this summer. Although wildfires regularly occur every Alaskan summer, July 2019 proved a particularly active month. Few rain gauges exist in the remote expanses of Alaskan wilderness, but wildfires unchecked can spread to populated areas within the state. Satellite-based precipitation estimates are therefore particularly valuable because of precipitation's relationship to wildfire hazard. The embedded video, above, shows data...