The High Park Fire, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of Fort Collins, Colorado, was discovered just before 6:00 a.m. on June 9, 2012. Started by a lightning strike, the fire quickly grew, fueled by high winds and dry vegetation. By the morning of June 12, the fire had burned more than 43,000 acres (17,000 hectares), making it the third-largest fire in Colorado history.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on June 10, 2012. Red outlines show the approximate boundaries of actively burning fires. Thick smoke was carried eastward on both days.
Image by Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory, using data provided courtesy of the LANCE MODIS Rapid Response team. Caption by Michon Scott, NASA Earth Observatory.